Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. VIII. by Robert Kerr

Part 2 out of 10

Adobe PDF icon
Download A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. VIII. pdf
File size: 1.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Hence likewise the Turks are called _Rums_; and not, as Purchas says,
because they are in possession of Constantinople, which was called _New
Rome_: For these provinces were called _Rum_ several ages before the
Turks took that city.--ASTLEY, I.254, b.]

"The relation which follows, titled "A brief Relation of Master John
Davis, chief Pilot to the Zealanders in their East India Voyage,
departing from Middleburgh," is obscure in some places, but must only be
considered as an abstract of his large journal, perhaps written in
haste. The latitudes are by no means to be commended for exactness, and
seem to have been taken on shipboard, only two or three of them with any
care. It is rather singular that he gives no observation for Acheen,
though the chief object of the voyage, and that he staid there so

* * * * *

We departed from Flushing on the 15th of March, 1598, being two ships in
company, the Lion of 400 tons, having 123 persons on board, and the
Lioness of 250 tons, with 100 men. These ships were the sole property of
Messrs Mushrom, Clarke, and Monef of Middleburgh, and entirely at their
risk. Cornelius Howteman was chief commander of both ships, with the
title of general, having a commission from Prince Maurice.

The seventh day after, being the 22d, we anchored in Torbay, having a
contrary wind. We sailed thence on the 7th of April, and had sight of
Porto Santo on the 20th; fell in with Palma on the 23d, and the 30th
reached the Cape Verd islands. We first anchored at St Nicholas, in lat.
16 deg. 16' N. We here watered on the 7th of May, and setting sail on the
9th, fell in with St Jago. The 9th June we got sight of Brazil, in lat.
7 deg. S, not being able to double Cape St Augustine; for, being near the
equator, we had very inconstant weather and bad winds; in which
desperate case we shaped our course for the island of Fernando Noronho,
in lat. 4 deg. S. where on the 15th June we anchored on the north side in
eighteen fathoms. In this island we found twelve negroes, eight men and
four women. It is a fertile island, having good water, and abounds in
goats; having also beeves, hogs, hens, melons, and Guinea corn with
plenty of fish and sea-fowl. These negroes had been left here by the
Portuguese to cultivate the island, and no ships had been there for
three years.

Leaving this island on the 26th August, with the wind at E.N.E. we
doubled Cape St Augustine on the 30th. The 10th September we passed the
_Abrolhos_, which we were in much fear of; these shoals being far out at
sea in lat. 21 deg. S. and are very dangerous. On this occasion our _Baas_,
for so a Dutch captain is called, appointed a _Master of Misrule_, named
the _Kesar_, the authority of which disorderly officer lay in riot, as
after dinner he would neither salute his friends, nor understand the
laws of reason, those who ought to have been most respectful being both
lawless and witless. We spent three days in this dissolute manner, and
then shaped our course for the Cape of Good Hope, sailing towards the
coast of Bacchus, to whom this idolatrous sacrifice was made, as
appeared afterwards.

The 11th November we came to anchor in Saldanha bay, in lat. 34 deg. S. ten
leagues short of the Cape of Good Hope, where there are three fresh
water rivers.[33] The people came to us with great plenty of oxen and
sheep, which they sold for spike nails and pieces of old iron, giving
the best for not more than the value of a penny. Their cattle are large,
and have a great lump of flesh on the shoulder, like the back of a
camel. Their sheep have prodigiously large tails, entirely composed of
fat, weighing twelve or fourteen pounds, but are covered with hair
instead of wool. The people are not circumcised; are of an olive black
colour, blacker than the Brazilians, with black curled hair like the
negroes of Angola. Their words are mostly inarticulate, and in speaking
they cluck with the tongue like a brood hen, the cluck and the word
being pronounced together in a very strange manner. They go naked,
except a short cloak of skins, and sandals tied to their feet, painting
their faces with various colours, and are a strong active people, who
run with amazing swiftness. They are subject to the King of
Monomotapa,[34] who is reported to be a mighty sovereign. Their only
weapons are darts.

[Footnote 33: It has been before remarked, that the Saldanha bay of the
older navigators was Table bay. What is now called Saldanha bay has no
river, or even brook, but has been lately supplied by means of a cut or
canal from Kleine-berg river, near twenty-five miles in length.--E.]

[Footnote 34: This is an error, the Hotentots having been independent
nomadic herders of cattle and sheep, divided into a considerable number
of tribes, and under a kind of patriarchal government.--E.]

As the Dutchmen offered them some rudeness, they absented themselves
from us for three days, during which time they made great fires on the
mountains. On the 19th of November, there came a great multitude of them
to us, with a great number of cattle, and taking a sudden opportunity
while bartering, they set upon us and slew thirteen of our people with
their hand-darts, which could not have hurt any of us at the distance of
four pikes' length. The Dutchmen fled from them like mice before cats,
basely throwing away their weapons. Our _Baas_ or captain kept on board
to save himself, but sent us corslets, two-handed swords, pikes,
muskets, and targets, so that we were well laden with weapons, but had
neither courage nor discretion, for we staid at our tents besieged by
savages and cows. We were in muster giants, with great armed bodies; but
in action babes with wrens' hearts. Mr Tomkins and I undertook to order
these fellows, according to that excellent way which we had seen in your
lordship's most honourable actions. Some consented to go with us, though
unwillingly; but most of them ran to the pottage pot, swearing it was
dinner time. We went all on board this night, except our great mastiff
dog, which we could not induce to follow us, for I think he was ashamed
of our cowardly behaviour. The land here is of an excellent soil, and
the climate is quite healthy; the soil being full of good herbs, as
mints, calamint, plantain, ribwort, trefoil, scabious, and such like. We
set sail from Saldanha bay on the 27th of December, and doubled the Cape
of Good Hope on the last day of the year.

The 6th of January, 1599, we doubled Cape Aguillas, the most southern
point of Africa, in lat. 35 deg. S. [34 deg. 45'] where the compass has no
variation.[35] The 6th of February we fell in with Madagascar, short of
St Romano, [or Cape St Mary, at its southern end;] and not being able to
double it, we bore room with [bore away to leeward for] the bay of St
Augustine on the south-west side of that island, in lat. 23 deg. 50' S. [23 deg.
30'.] The 3d of March we anchored in that bay, where we saw many people
on the shore, but they all fled when we landed; for when, our _baas_ was
in this bay on the former voyage, he greatly abused the people, and
having taken one of them, he had him tied to a post and shot to death,
having besides used them otherwise most shamefully. After seven days, we
enticed some of them to come to us, from whom we bought some milk and
one cow; but they soon left us, and would not have any more connexion
with us. They are a strong well-shaped people, of a coal-black colour,
having a sweet and pleasing language. Their weapons are spears or half
pikes, headed with iron, which they keep very clear; and they go quite
naked. The soil appeared very fertile, and we saw a vast number of
tamarind trees. We found another high tree producing beans very good to
eat, in pods two feet long, and the beans of a proportional size. We saw
here many cameleons. We English suffered no small misery, especially in
this bay: but God, the ever living commander, was our only succour.

[Footnote 35: This, it must be noticed, was in the year 1599. The
variation alters progressively, increasing to a maximum in one
deflexion; it then retrogrades till it points true north, which it
progressively overpasses in the opposite deflexion to a maximum again.
But these changes do not proceed with sufficient regularity to admit of
being predicted with any certainty.--E.]

This 8th of March we came on board hungry and meatless, and on the 14th
we set sail from this place, which we called Hungry bay, shaping our
coarse to the northward along the west side of the island. The 29th, we
came to the islands of Comoro, between 12 deg. and 13 deg. S. [12 deg. 32' and 15 deg.
16'.] There are five of these islands, named Mayotta, Anzuame,
Magliaglie, San Christophero, and Spiritu Santo.[36] The 30th, we
anchored at Mayotta close by a town, where there were many people who
seemed rejoiced at our arrival, and came on board, bringing us presents
of victuals. The king sent a message to our _baas_, inviting him on
shore with promise of much kindness; and when he landed, the king met
him with a great retinue, having three drums beaten before him. He and
his principal followers were richly dressed, in long silken robes,
embroidered in the Turkish fashion: and after using us with great
kindness, gave us a letter of recommendation for the Queen of Anzuame,
or Hinzuan, as that island has no king.

[Footnote 36: There are six islands in the Comoro group: 1. Comoro,
Gasidza, of Angazesio: 2. Malalio, Senbraeas, or Moelia: 3. Mayotta: 4.
St Christophus: 5. Hinzuan, Angouan, or Joanna: 6. St Esprit. Which last
has four inlets off its western side, and one to the N.E. of its
northern end.--E.]

We sailed from Mayotta on the 17th of April, and anchored at Hinzuan on
the 19th, before a town named _Demos_, which appears from its ruins to
have been a strong place, the houses being built of hewed freestone, and
what remains being as large as Plymouth, but the walls are almost
ruined. The queen used us in a most friendly manner, yet would not allow
any of us to see her. In these islands we had rice, oxen, goats, cocoas,
bananas, oranges, lemons, and citrons. The inhabitants are negroes, but
smooth-haired, and follow the Mahometan religion. Their weapons are
swords, targets, bows and arrows. These islands are very beautiful and
fertile; and among them we found merchants of Arabia and India, but I
could not learn what commodities they yielded. They greatly coveted
weapons and iron, and were fond of procuring paper. The 28th we departed
from Hinzuan, passing through the islands of Mascarenhas and the Shoals
of Almirante.

The 23d of May, we fell in with the islands called Maldives, which are
very low close to the water, and are so covered with cocoa-nut trees,
that we saw only trees and no shore. Many of the native boats passed
close by us, but none would come to us, wherefore our _baas_ sent a
ship's boat to take one of them, which on the 24th brought a boat to us,
which was covered with mats like a close barge. In this boat was a
gentleman and his wife. He was dressed in very fine white linen, made
after the Turkish fashion, having several rings with red stones; and his
countenance was so modest, his behaviour so sweet and affable, and his
speech so graceful, that we concluded he could not be less than a
nobleman. He was very unwilling to let his wife be seen; but our _baas_
went into the boat along with him to see her, and even opened her
casket, in which were some jewels and ambergris. He reported that she
sat in mournful modesty, not speaking a word. What was taken from them I
know not, but on departing, this gentleman shewed a princely spirit. He
was a man of middle stature, of a black colour, with smooth or lank
hair. There is considerable trade in these islands, by reason of the
cocoa-trees; for they make ropes, cables, sails, wine, oil, and a kind
of bread from that tree and its fruit. It is said that there are 11,000
of these islands.

The 27th of May we set sail, and that morning there came on board of us
an old man who could speak a little Portuguese, who piloted us through
the channel, as by chance we had fallen upon the right channel called
Maldivia, in lat. 4 deg. 15' N. Here the compass varied 17 deg. westerly. It is
a very dangerous thing to miss the right channel, the trade and
navigation through which is very great of various nations, to most
places of India, as I hope in your lordship's presence to inform you at
large. The 3d June we fell in with the coast of India near Cochin, in
lat. 8 deg. 40' N.[37] and coasting along the shore, we shaped our course
eastwards for Cape Comorin, and thence to the island of Sumatra.

[Footnote 37: Cochin is in lat. 9 deg. 56' 30" N. 8 deg. 40', the lat. in the
text falls very near Anjengo; to the south of Coulan.--E.]

The 13th June we saw the coast of Sumatra, in lat. 5 deg. 40' N. at its most
northerly extremity; and when stopping at an island near the shore to
take in water, on the 16th, we spoke with some of the people. The 21st,
we anchored in the bay of Acheen in twelve fathoms, on which the king
sent off his officers to measure the length and breadth of our vessels,
and to take the number of our ordnance and men, which they did. Our
_baas_ sent two of his people on shore along with these officers, with a
present to the king, consisting of a looking glass, a drinking glass,
and a coral bracelet. Next day our people returned on board, being
apparelled by the king after the country fashion, in dresses of white
calico, and brought a friendly message of peace, welcome, and plenty of
spices. We found, three barks belonging to Arabia and one of Pegu riding
in the bay, which had come to lade pepper. There was here also a
Portuguese officer, Don Alfonso Vincente, with four barks from Malacca,
who had come expressly to endeavour to prevent our trade, as was shewn
in the sequel.

On the 23d June, the king sent at midnight for our _baas_ to come to
wait upon him, sending a noble as his hostage. He went immediately on
shore, and was kindly used by the king, who promised him a free trade,
and cloathed him after the fashion of the country, giving him likewise a
_criss_ of honour. This _criss_ is a dagger, having a haft or handle of
a kind of metal of fine lustre esteemed far beyond gold, and set with
rubies. It is death to wear a criss of this kind, except it has been
given by the king; and he who possesses it is at absolute freedom to
take victuals without money, and to command all the rest as slaves. Our
_baas_, or captain, came on board the 26th with a boat-load of pepper,
making incredible boasts of his mighty good fortune, and the wonderful
trade he had procured, with no small rejoicing in his pride. He said
likewise that the king had often asked if he were from England, which he
strongly denied, using many unhandsome speeches of our nation; and after
coming on board, he said he would have given a thousand pounds to have
had no English with him, thus thrusting us poor souls into a corner.

The 27th of June, our merchants went on shore with their goods, having a
house appointed for their residence by the king. On the 20th July, our
captain being with the king, was well entertained by him, and on this
occasion the king was very importunate to know if he were English. "Tell
me truly," said he, "for I love the English; and I must farther tell you
that Alfonso Vincente has been earnest with me to betray you, but it
shall not be, for I am your friend." With that he gave him a purse of
gold. The captain gave him thanks for the present and his friendly
disposition, declaring that he was not from England but from Flanders,
and entirely disposed to serve his majesty. "I have heard of England,"
said the king, "but never of Flanders; pray what land is that?" He
farther enquired who was their king, and what was the state and
government of the country? The captain made a large report on this
topic, saying that they had no king, but were governed by an
aristocracy. He likewise requested that the king would give orders to
his subjects not to call him an Englishman, as that gave him much
displeasure, which the king promised should be done. The king then asked
if there were no English in the ships? To which the captain answered,
that there were some, but they had been bred up in Flanders. The king
then said, he understood there were some men in the ships that differed
from the others in apparel, language, and manners, and desired to know
who these were? To this the _baas_ answered, that they were English, and
that his chief pilot was one of them. The king then said that he must
see these men. "As for your merchandize," added he, "I have war with the
king of Johor, and if you will assist me against him with your ships,
your recompence shall be a full lading of pepper." To this our captain
agreed. The 28th of July, the _Sabandars_,[38] the secretary, the
merchants of Mecca, who were Turks and Arabians, together with Don
Alfonso Vincente and some others of the Portuguese, came on board with
our _baas_, and all returned passing drunk.

[Footnote 38: The _Shah bandar_, signifies in Persian, the King of the
Port; being the title of the principal officer of the customs.--Astl. I.
257. a.]

The 20th of August the king began to change his countenance to our
captain, demanding why the English pilot had not been to wait upon him;
for hitherto Mr Tomkins and I had not been permitted to go on shore;
adding, that when the Dutch had got their pepper, he supposed they would
ran away without performing the service they had promised. Upon this I
was immediately sent for, and came ashore on the 21st. I waited on the
king early next morning, and he treated me very kindly. I staid with him
four boars, or more, banqueting And drinking. After an hour, he ordered
the _sabandar_ to stand up, and me likewise; upon which the sabander
took off my hat, and put a roll of white linen about my head. He then
put about my middle a long white linen cloth, embroidered with gold,
which went twice about me, the ends hanging down half my leg. After
this, taking the roll from my head, and laying it before the king, he
put a white garment on me, and above that a red one. Then, replacing the
roll on my head, I sat down before the king, who drank to me in
_aquavitae_, [arrak, or brandy,] and made me eat of many strange meats.
All his service was in gold, except some of the dishes, which were fine
porcelain. These were all set upon the floor, without table, napkins, or
other linen. He asked me many questions about England, about the queen,
and her _bashas_, or nobles; and enquired how she could carry on war
against so great a monarch as the king of Spain, for he believed that
all Europe was under his government. I satisfied him as well as I could
on all these points, and he seemed very much pleased.

On the 23d I was sent for by the prince, and rode to his court on an
elephant. He used me extremely well, our entertainment consisting in
excessive eating and drinking. While I was on shore, I met with a very
sensible merchant of China, who spoke Spanish, and of whom I learnt some
things which I hope will give your lordship good contentment hereafter.
There are many people here from China who follow trade, and who have
their separate town. So have the Portuguese, the Guzurates, the Arabs,
Bengalese, and Peguers. As our _baas_ disliked that I should so much
frequent the company of the Chinese, he ordered me on board, and came
off himself next day in a very dull humour, having had some sour looks
from the king.

The 1st of September the king gave out that we were to receive ordnance
on board for battering Johor, and to take in soldiers for that service.
Many gallies were manned and brought out of the river, and rode at
anchor about half a mile from our ships. The sea was all full of
_paraws_ and boats. There came that day on board our ship the secretary,
named _Corcoun_, and the chief sabander, named _Abdala_, accompanied by
many soldiers armed with cutlasses, darts, crisses, and targets. They
brought with them many kinds of meats, and a great jar of aquavitae,
making a great shew of friendship and banqueting. Suspecting some
treachery, we filled our tops with stones, made fast and prepared our
gratings, all without orders from our _baas_, who was exceedingly angry,
and ordered us to discontinue, but we would not.

There is a kind of seed in this country, by eating a little of which a
man becomes quite foolish, all things seeming to be metamorphosed; but,
above a certain quantity, it is deadly poison. With this all the meat
and drink they brought on board was infected. While banqueting, the
sabandar sent for me and Mr Tomkins, who kept me company, and said some
words to one of their attendants, which I did not understand. In a short
time we were foolishly frolicsome, gaping one upon another in a most
ridiculous manner, our captain, or _baas_, being at that time a prisoner
in their hands, yet knew it not. A signal was made from the other ship,
where the like treachery was going on under the direction of the
secretary, who went there from our ship for that purpose. They
immediately set upon us, murdered our _baas_, and slew several others.
Mr Tomkins and I, with the assistance of a Frenchman, defended the poop,
which, if they had gained, our ship had been lost, for they already had
the cabin, and some of their fellows were below among our guns, having
crept in at the port-holes. The master of our ship, whom the Dutch call
captain, leapt into the sea, with several others, but came on board
again when all was over. In the end, we put them to flight, for our
people in the tops annoyed them sore; and, when I saw them run, I leapt
from the poop to pursue them, Mr Tomkins following my example. At this
time a Turk came out of the cabin, who wounded him grievously, and they
lay tumbling over each other on the deck. On seeing this, I ran the Turk
through the body with my rapier, and our skipper thrust him down the
throat into the body with a half pike.

All the principal people in the other ship were murdered, and the ship
obviously in possession of the Acheenese; on which we instantly cut our
cables and drove towards her, and, with our shot, made the Indians
abandon her, so that we recovered her likewise. The gallies did not
venture near us. In our great distress, it was some comfort to see how
these base Indians fled, how they were killed, and how they were
drowned; the whole sea being covered with dead Indians, floating about
in hundreds. Abdala, the sabandar, and one of the king's near kinsmen,
were slain, with many others, and the secretary was wounded. The king
was by the shore at this time, attended by a vast many, people; and, on
learning the death of the sabandar, and the overthrow of this treachery,
the furious infidels murdered all of our people who were on shore,
except eight, who were put in irons as slaves. In this great calamity we
lost sixty-eight persons, of whom we are not certain how many may be in
captivity, having only knowledge of these eight. We lost at this time
two fine pinnaces of twenty tons each, and our ship's boat.

We left Acheen that same day, and anchored at _Pedier_, where we had
sent a small pinnace for rice, but could get no tidings of her. Next
day, the 2d September, there came eleven gallies to take our ships,
having Portuguese in them, as we thought. We sank one of them, and
defeated all the rest, so that they fled amain. That same afternoon, the
son of Lafort, a French merchant, dwelling in Seethinglane, London, came
on board of us, being one of the eight prisoners. He brought the
following message from the king:--"Are you not ashamed to be such
drunken beasts, as, in your drunkenness, to murder my people whom I sent
on board of you in kindness?" He farther required of us, in satisfaction
of his pretended wrong, that we should give up our best ship, on which
he would release our men, telling Lafort, if he could succeed in this,
that he would make him a great nobleman. To this ridiculous proposal we
gave a flat denial; and, being in distress for water, we went over to
_Pulo Lotum_, on the coast of Queda, or northern part of Malacca, on its
western coast, in lat. 6 deg. 50' N. where we refreshed and watered.

During our stay at Acheen, we received into both our ships 140 tons of
pepper, what precious stones and other merchandize besides I know not.
But, on the day of treason, our merchants lost all the money and goods
they had on shore, which was said to be of great value. On this
occasion, many of our young adventurers were utterly ruined; among whom,
I most grieve at the loss sustained by _poor John Davis_, having not
only lost my friendly factor, but all my European commodities, with
those things I had provided to shew my love and duty to my best friends;
so that, though India did not receive me rich, she hath sent me back
sufficiently poor.

The island of Sumatra is pleasant and fertile, abounding in many
excellent fruits; but their only grain is rice, which serves them for
bread. They plough the land with buffaloes, which they have in great
numbers, but with small skill, and less industry. The rice grows in all
respects like our barley. They have plenty of pepper, which is grown in
large gardens or plantations, often a mile square. It grows like hops,
from a planted root, winding about a stake set to support it, till it
grows like a great bushy tree, whence the pepper hangs in small
clusters, three inches long, and an inch about, each cluster having
forty pepper-corns; and it yields as great increase as mustard-seed. At
Acheen they are able to load twenty ships every year, and might supply
more, if the people were industrious. The whole country resembles a
pleasure-garden, the air being temperate and wholesome, having every
morning a fruitful dew, or small rain. The harbour of Acheen is very
small, having only six feet water on the bar, at which there is a stone
fort, the ramparts of which are covered or flanked with battlements, all
very low, and very despicable. In front of this fort is an excellent
road, or anchoring ground for ships, the wind being, always off shore,
so that a ship may ride safely a mile from the shore, in eighteen
fathoms, and close in, in six and four fathoms.

In this country there are elephants, horses, buffaloes, oxen, and goats,
with many wild-hogs. The land has plenty of mines of gold and copper,
with various gums, balsams, many drugs, and much indigo. Its precious
stones are rubies, sapphires, and garnets; but I know not whether they
are found there, or are brought from other places. It has likewise most
excellent timber for building ships. The city of Acheen,[39] if such it
may be called, is very spacious, and is built in a wood, so that the
houses are not to be seen till we are close upon them; neither could we
go into any place but we found houses and a great concourse of people,
so that the town seems to spread over the whole land. Their houses are
raised on posts, eight feet or better from the ground, leaving free
passage under them, the walls and roofs being only of mats, the poorest
and weakest things that can be conceived. I saw three great
market-places, which were every day crowded like fairs, with all kinds
of commodities exposed for sale.

[Footnote 39: This place, called likewise _Achin_ and _Achien_ by Davis,
is commonly called _Achen_; but in the letters from the king to Queen
Elizabeth, which will be mentioned in the sequel it is called
_Ashi_.--Astl. I. 259. b.]

The king, called Sultan Aladin, is said to be an hundred years old, yet
is a lively man, exceedingly gross and fat. In his young days he was a
fisherman, of which there are many in this place, as they live mostly on
fish. Going to the wars with the former king, he shewed himself so
valiant and discreet in ordering the king's gallies, that he acquired
the royal favour so much as to be appointed admiral of all the
sea-force, in which he conducted himself so valiantly and wisely, that
the king gave him one of his nearest kinswomen to wife. The king had an
only daughter, whom he married to the king of Johor, by whom she had a
son, who was sent to Acheen to be brought up as heir to his grandfather.
The king who now is, being commander in chief by sea and land, the old
king died suddenly; on which the present king took the child under his
guardianship, against which the nobility protested: but, as he had the
command of the whole armed force, he maintained his point, putting to
death more than a thousand of the nobles, raised the rascal people to be
new lords, and made new laws. Finally, the young prince was murdered,
and he proclaimed himself king, in right of his wife; on which there
arose great wars between him and the king of Johor, which continue to
this day. He has held the kingdom by force these twenty years, and seems
now secure in his usurped and ill-got power.

The king's court, or residence, is situated upon the river, about half a
mile from the city, having three inclosures, and guards, before any one
can come to him, and a wide green between each guarded inclosure. His
house is built like all the rest, but much higher, so that he can see,
from where he sits, all that come to any of his guards, yet no one can
see him. The walls and covering of his house are made of mats, which
are sometimes hung with cloth of gold, sometimes with velvet, and at
other times with damask. He sits on the ground, cross-legged, like a
tailor, and so must all do who are admitted into his presence. He always
wears four _crisses_, two before and two behind, richly ornamented with
diamonds and rubies, and has a sword lying in his lap. He is attended by
at least forty women; some with fans to cool him, some with cloths to
wipe off sweat, others to serve him with aquavitae or water, and the
rest to sing pleasant songs. He doth nothing all day but eat and drink,
there being no end of banqueting from morning till night; and, when
ready to burst, he eats _areka betula_[40], which is a fruit like a
nutmeg, wrapped in a leaf like tobacco, with _sharp-chalk_ [lime] made
of the shells of pearl oysters. Chewing these ingredients makes the
spittle very red, causes a great, flow of saliva, and occasions a great
appetite; it also makes the teeth very black, and the blacker they are
is considered as so much the more fashionable. Having recovered his
appetite by this means, he returns again to banqueting. By way of
change, when his belly is again gorged, he goes into the river to bathe,
where he has a place made on purpose, and gets a fresh appetite by being
in the water. He, with his women and great men, do nothing but eat,
drink, and talk of venery; so that, if the poets have any truth, then is
this king _the great Bacchus_, for he practises all the ceremonies of
gluttony. He spends his whole time in eating and drinking with his
women, or in cock-fighting. Such is the king, and such are his subjects;
for the whole land is entirely given to such habits of enjoyment.

[Footnote 40: _Areka_ is the nut, and _betel_ the leaf in which it is
wrapped, along with _chunam_, or lime, called _sharp-chalk_ in the

While, in all parts of Christendom, it is the custom to uncover the head
in token of reverence, it is here the direct contrary; as, before any
man can come into, the presence of this king, he must put off his shoes
and stockings, coming before him bare-footed and bare-legged, holding
his hands joined over his head, bowing his body, and saying _dowlat_;
which duty performed, he sits down, cross-legged, in the king's
presence. The state is governed by five principal officers, his
secretary, and four others, called _sabandars_, in whom are all the
authority of government, and who have inferior officers under them. The
will of the king is the law: as there seemed to be no freemen in all the
land, the lives and properties of all being at the king's pleasure. In
punishing offenders, he makes no man happy by death, but orders their
hands and feet to be cut off, and then banishes them to an island called
_Pulo Wey_. When any one is condemned to die, he is either trodden to
death by elephants, or empaled. Besides those in jails, many prisoners
in fetters are seen going about the town. The king has three wives, and
many concubines, who are very closely kept, and his women are his chief

The king has many gallies, an hundred, as I think, some of them so large
as to carry four hundred men. These are all made like wherries, very
long, narrow, and open, without deck, forecastle, or poop, or any upper
works whatever. Instead of oars, they have paddles, about four feet
long, made like shovels, which they hold in their hands, not resting
them on the gunwales, or in row-locks, as we do. The gallies have no
ordnance; yet with these he holds all his neighbours under subjection.
His admiral is a woman, as he trusts no man with that high office. Their
weapons are bows and arrows, javelins, swords, and targets, having no
defensive armour, and fighting entirely naked. They have a great many
pieces of brass ordnance, which they fire lying on the ground, using no
carriages. Some of these are the greatest I ever saw, and the metal of
which they are made is said to be rich in gold. The great dependence of
his land-force is in the elephants.

These people boast of being descended from Abraham, through Ismael, the
son of Hagar, and can distinctly reckon the genealogies in our Bible.
They follow the Mahometan religion, and use rosaries, or strings of
beads, in praying, like the papists. They bring up their children in
learning, and have many schools. They have an archbishop, and other
spiritual dignitaries. There is a prophet in Acheen, who is greatly
honoured, and is alleged to have the spirit of prophecy, like the
ancients. This person is distinguished from all the rest by his dress,
and is in great favour with the king. The natives are entirely addicted
to commerce, in which they are very expert; and they have many mechanics
or artisans, as goldsmiths, cannon-founders, shipwrights, tailors,
weavers, hatters, potters, cutlers, smiths, and distillers of
aquavitae, [arrak,] which is made from rice, as they must drink no wine.

Every family or tribe has its own particular place of burial, which are
all in the fields. The bodies are all deposited in graves, with the
heads laid towards Mecca, having a stone at the head, and another at the
feet, curiously wrought, so as to designate the rank and worth of each
person. In the burial-place of the kings, as we were told, every grave
has a piece of gold at the head, and another at the feet, each weighing
500 pounds, curiously embossed and carved. I was very desirous to see
this royal cemetery, because of its great riches, but could not obtain
permission; yet am disposed to believe it to be true, as the reigning
king has made two such costly ornaments for his own grave, which are
almost finished. They are each of gold, a thousand pounds weight
a-piece, and are to be richly ornamented with precious stones.[41]

[Footnote 41: In the Portuguese Asia is a story which confirms this
report. George Brito, who went in 1521 to Acheen with six ships, and
three hundred men, having been informed, by an ungrateful Portuguese,
whom the king had relieved from shipwreck, that there was a great
treasure of gold in the tombs of the kings, and having made other
inquiries on this subject, picked a quarrel with the king, and landed
with two hundred men in order to seize it: But being opposed by the
king, at the head of a thousand men, and six elephants, he, and most of
his men, were slain; a just reward of injustice, ingratitude, and
avarice.--Astl. 1. 260. a.]

The people who trade to this port are from China, Bengal, Pegu, Java,
Coromandel, Guzerata, Arabia, and _Rumos_. _Rumos_ is in the Red-Sea,
whence Solomon sent his ships to Ophir for gold; which Ophir is now
Acheen, as they affirm upon tradition; and the _Rumos_ people have
followed the same trade from the time of Solomon to this day.[42] Their
payments are made in different denominations, called cash, mas, cowpan,
pardaw, and tayel. I only saw two sorts of coin, one of gold, and the
other of lead: The gold coin, or _mas_, is of the size of a
silver-penny, and is as common at Acheen as pence are in England. The
other, of lead, called _cash_, is like the little leaden tokens used in
London by the vintners: 1600 _cashes_ make one _mas_; 400 _cashes_ make
a _cowpan_, and four cowpans a mas; five _mases_ are equal to four
shillings sterling; four _mases_ make a _pardaw_, and four _pardaws_ a
_tayel_. Hence one _mas_ is 9-3/5d. sterling; one pardaw, 3s. 2-2/5d.;
one _tayel_, 12s. 9-3/5d.; one cowpan, 2-3/5d.; and one cash is a
two-hundredth part of a penny. Pepper is sold by the _Bahar_, which is
360 English pounds, for 3l. 4s. Their pound is called _catt_, being
twenty-one of our ounces; and their ounce is larger than ours in the
proportion of sixteen to ten. They sell precious stones by a weight
named _masse_, 10-3/4 of which make an ounce.

[Footnote 42: The Turks are called _Rumos_ in India, because their chief
city, Constantinople, was called New Rome. Their tradition of Ophir is
more to be marked than this conceit of _Rumos_ in the Red-Sea.--_Purchas_,
in a marginal note.

The Egyptians might follow this trade from the days of Solomon, but the
_Rums_, or Romans, could not, as they did not possess Egypt till long
after Solomon.--Astl. 1. 260. c.

It would be too long, in a note, to enter upon any critical discussion
respecting the _Ophir_ of Solomon, which was more probably at _Sofala_,
on the eastern coast of Africa.--E.]

Once every year they have the following strange custom, which happened
while we were there. The king and all his nobles go in great pomp to the
church, or mosque, to see if the _Messias_ be come. On that occasion, I
think, were at least forty elephants, all richly covered with silk,
velvet, and cloth of gold, several nobles riding on each elephant. One
elephant was exceedingly adorned beyond the rest, having a little golden
castle on his back, which was led for the expected _Messias_ to ride
upon. On another elephant, the king sat alone in a little castle, so
that the whole made a very splendid procession; in which some bore
targets of pure massy gold, others large golden crescents, with
streamers, banners, ensigns, drums, trumpets, and various other
instruments of music. Going to the church with great solemnity, and
using many ceremonies, they looked into the church, and not finding the
_Messias_ there, the king descended from his own elephant, and rode home
on that prepared for the _Messias_. After which, the day was concluded
with great feastings, and many pleasant sports.

The island of Sumatra is divided into four kingdoms, Acheen, Pedier,
Monancabo, and Aru, of which Acheen is the chief, Pedier and Monancabo
being tributary to it; but Aru refuses subjection, and adheres to the
king of Johor, in Malacca. I only heard of five principal cities in this
island, Acheen, Pedier, Pacem, [Pisang,] Daia, [perhaps Daga,] and

I now return to our proceedings after the slaughter of Acheen. On the
10th September we anchored at the islands of _Pulo Lotum_, in lat. 6 deg.
50' N. near the coast of the kingdom of _Queda_, where we watered, and
procured refreshments. There were in our ship three sealed letters,
superscribed A.B.C. which were to be opened on the death of our _baas_,
or captain. On opening that marked A. one Thomas Quymans was appointed
our chief; but, as he was slain at Acheen, we opened B. by which Guyan
Lafort, who escaped death by bringing the message from the king to us at
Pedier, was nominated our chief, and was accordingly received by us in
that capacity. The letter marked C. was not opened.

Leaving Pulo Lotum on the 30th September, we sailed for Acheen, for the
purpose of endeavouring to recover our men who were there in captivity.
We came in sight of Acheen on the 6th October, and got into the bay on
the 12th, where twelve of their gallies set upon us. We got up with one
of them, and gave her several shots; but, as the weather was very calm,
she escaped from us under the land, and the rest did not dare to
approach us, for they are proud base cowards. On the 18th, we set sail
for Tanaserim,[43] which is a place of great trade, and anchored among
the islands in the bay belonging to that place, in lat. 11 deg. 20' N. on the
25th. We were here so much crossed by contrary winds, that we could not
get up to the city, which stands twenty leagues within the bay; and,
being in great distress for provisions, we made sail for the Nicobar
islands, hoping there to find relief. We anchored at these islands on
the 12th November, in lat. 8 deg. N. when the people brought us off great
abundance of poultry, oranges, lemons, and other fruit, with some
ambergris, which we paid for in pieces of linen cloth and table napkins.
These islands consist of pleasant and fertile low land, and have good
anchorage for ships; but the people are very barbarous, living on fish
and natural fruits, not cultivating the ground, and consequently having
no rice.

[Footnote 43: Mergui, the sea-port of Tanaserim, is in lat. 12 deg. N.]

We departed on the 16th of November, shaping our course for Ceylon,
being in great distress, especially for rice. By the great goodness of
God, on the 6th December, we took a ship from Negapatam, on the coast of
Coromandel, laden with rice, and bound for Acheen. There were in her
about sixty persons, belonging to Acheen, Java, Ceylon, Pegu, Narsinga,
and Coromandel. From these people we learnt that there is a city in
Ceylon called _Matecalon_,[44] a place of great trade, where we might
load our ships with cinnamon, pepper, and cloves. They also told us that
there were great store of precious stones and pearls to be had in
Ceylon; that the country abounded in all kinds of provisions, and that
the king was a bitter enemy to the Portuguese. They likewise told us of
a city called _Trinquanamale_, [Trinconomale, usually called
Trinquamalee,] at which was a similar trade. They engaged that we might
load our ships, and procure a plentiful supply of provisions, at either
of these places, for little money; and we accordingly used our utmost
possible exertions to get to them, but all to no purpose, as the wind
was quite contrary. The Indians then told us, that if we would remain
till January, we should meet above an hundred sail of ships, laden with
spiceries, linen cloth, [cottons,] and commodities of China; but our
commander would not agree to stay there for the purpose of war, as his
commission only authorised him to trade, but proposed to remain for
traffic, paying for every thing he might be able to procure. To this,
however, the company would not consent; and we accordingly began our
voyage homewards on the 28th of December, after beating up for sixteen
days to endeavour to make Batacolo. We had discharged our prize on the
18th, after taking out most of her rice, for which our commander paid
them to their satisfaction; but our men plundered the Indians of their
goods and money in a disorderly manner. We took with us twelve of the
Indians, belonging to different countries; and after they had been with
us some time, they informed us that the merchants in the Negapatam ship
had a large quantity of precious stones in the ship, hidden under the
planks of her lining. How far this might be true I know not, as, for
some unknown reason, Mr Tomkins and I were not allowed to go on board

[Footnote 44: Perhaps Batacolo is here meant, on the east side of
Ceylon, in lat. 7 deg. 45' N.]

The 5th March, 1600, our victuals were poisoned, but God preserved us;
for one of our people tasting it by chance, or from greediness, was
infected. It was strongly poisoned before it came to us, being fresh
fish; for our surgeon took almost a spoonful of poison out of one fish.
But this is not the first time, if the grieved would complain.[45] The
10th March we fell in with the Cape of Good Hope, where we encountered a
heavy storm; and on the 26th we doubled that Cape.

[Footnote 45: This story is very unintelligible, as no circumstance is
mentioned as to where the fish were got, nor who was suspected of
introducing the poison.--E.]

We anchored at St Helena on the 13th March. This island is in lat. 16 deg.
S. [15 deg. 45'.] We here found plenty of water, with abundance of figs, and
as many fish as we chose to take. At sun-set, on the 15th, a caravel
came into the roads, and anchored a large musket-shot to windward of us.
She was totally unprepared for fighting, as none of her guns were
mounted. We fought her all night, giving her in that time, as I think,
upwards of 200 shots, though, in the course of eight hours, she did not
return a single shot, nor seemed to regard us. By midnight she got six
pieces mounted, which she used to good purpose, shooting us often
through, and slew two of our men. So, on the 16th, in the morning, we
departed, having many of our men sick, and shaped our course for the
island of Ascension, where we hoped to find relief. The 23d April we got
sight of that island, which is in lat. 8 deg. S. [7 deg. 50'.] But it has
neither wood, water, or any green thing upon it, being a barren green
rock, five leagues broad. The 24th, at midnight, we agreed to proceed to
the island of _Fernando Loronio_, [Noronho,] where we knew that
sufficient relief could be had, as we had stopt ten weeks there when
outward-bound, when unable to double Cape St Augustine.

We arrived on the 6th May at Fernando Noronho, [in lat. 3 deg. 28' S. off
the coast of Brazil,] where we remained six days to take in water, and
to refresh ourselves. The 13th of the same month we departed, shaping
our course for the English channel, and arrived at Middleburgh, in
Zealand, on the 29th of July, 1600.


_Voyage of William Adams to Japan, in 1598, and long Residence in that


This very curious article consists chiefly of two letters from Japan,
written by William Adams, an Englishman, who went there as pilot in a
Dutch fleet, and was detained there. His _first_ letter, dated Japan,
22d October, 1611, is addressed,--"To my unknown Friends and Countrymen;
desiring this letter, by your good means, or the news or copy thereof
may come to the hands of one, or many of my acquaintance, at Limehouse,
or elsewhere; or at Gillingham, in Kent, by Rochester." The _second_
letter has no date, the concluding part of it being suppressed or lost,
by the malice of the bearers, as Purchas suspected; but is addressed to
his wife, and was probably inclosed in the former, or perhaps sent home
by Saris, whose voyage will be found in the sequel. Adams appears to
have died about 1620, in Japan, as reported by the ship James, which
arrived from that island, in England, in 1621. Purchas observes, that
though this voyage was not by the Cape of Good Hope, he had yet inserted
it among the early English voyages to India, because performed to Japan.
The editor of Astley's Collection says that he once intended to have
placed it in a different division of his work, as performed by a
south-west course; but, because Adams is frequently mentioned in the
journals of Saris and Cocks, to whom he was serviceable in Japan, he
chose to follow the example of Purchas. One of the views of Adams, in
the first of these letters, in the opinion of the editor of Astley's
Collection, appears to have been to excite the English to repair to
Japan; and they seem to have entertained that object at the same time,
as Saris set out upon his voyage to that island six months before the
date of the letter from Adams.

[Footnote 46: Purchas his Pilgrims, I. 125. Astley, I. 525.]

In Astley's Collection, the editor has used the freedom, as he has done
in a variety of other instances, to make great alterations in the
arrangement of the original document, and even often makes important
changes in the sense, which is by no means commendable. In this article,
as in all others, we have chosen to have recourse to the original
source, merely accommodating the language to that of the present day.

Before the letters of Adams, it seemed proper to give the following
short notice of the earlier part of the voyage in which Adams went to
Japan, as contained in the Pilgrims of Purchas, vol. I. p. 78.--E.

* * * * *

Sec. 1. _Brief Relation of the Voyage of Sebalt de Wert to the Straits of

In the year 1598, the following ships were fitted out at Amsterdam for a
voyage to India: The Hope, of 250 tons, admiral, with 136 persons; the
Charity, of 160 tons, vice-admiral, with 110 men; the Faith, of 160
tons, and 109 men; the Fidelity, of 100 tons, and 86 men; and the Good
News, of 75 tons, and 56 men; of which fleet Sir Jaques Mabu was
general, and Simon de Cordes vice-admiral; the captains of the other
three ships being Benninghen, Bockholt, and Sebalt de Wert. Being
furnished with all necessary provisions, they set sail on the 27th June,
1598. After much difficulty, and little help at the Cape de Verd
islands, where they lost their general, to whom Cordes succeeded, they
were forced, by their pressing wants, and the wiles of the Portuguese,
being severely infected with the scurvy in all their ships, to leave
these islands, with the intention of going to the Isle of Anabon, in the
gulf of Guinea, in lat. 1 deg. 40' S. to make better provision of water, and
other necessaries, and to refresh their men. Falling in unexpectedly
with the land, in about the lat. of 3 deg. S. 120 miles before their
reckoning, they determined to go to Cape Lope Gonsalves, driving a
peddling trade with the negroes as they went along the coast.

Arriving at the bay of Cape Lope, the sick men were sent a-shore on the
10th November. The 23d, a French sailor came aboard, who promised to
procure them the favour of the negro king, to whom Captain Sebalt de
Wert was sent. This king was found on a throne hardly a foot high,
having a lamb's skin under his feet. He was dressed in a coat of violet
cloth, with tinsel lace, without shirt, shoes, or stockings, having a
party-coloured cloth on his head, with many glass beads hanging from his
neck, attended by his courtiers adorned with cocks feathers. His palace
was not comparable to a stable. His provisions were brought to him by
women, being a few roasted plantains and some smoke-dried fish, served
in wooden vessels, with palm-wine, in such sparing measure, that
Massinissa, and other renowned examples of temperance, might have been
disciples to this negro monarch. One time the Dutch captain regaled his
majesty with some of the ship's provisions; but he forgot all his
temperance on being treated with Spanish wine, and had to be carried off
mortal drunk. Very little refreshment could be procured here. They
killed a boar and two buffaloes in the woods, and snared a few birds,
besides buying some provisions from the negroes. The worst of all was,
as the scurvy subsided, they were afflicted with dangerous fevers.

Departing from this place on the 8th December, they came to the island
of _Anobon_ on the 16th, where they procured some provisions by force.
By the scurvy and fever they lost thirty men, among whom was Thomas
Spring, a young Englishman of promising parts. In the beginning of the
year 1599, they departed from Anabon, steering for the straits of
Magellan, being too late for passing the Cape of Good Hope. The 10th
March they observed the sea all red, as if mixed with blood, occasioned
by being full of red worms, which when taken up leapt like fleas. They
entered the straits on the 6th April, supplying themselves at Penguin
islands with thirteen or fourteen hundred of these birds. On the 18th of
that month they anchored in Green bay within the straits, where they got
fresh water and large mussels. They remained at this place till the 23d
of August, in a perpetually stormy winter, and lost a hundred of their
men. The storm found them continual labour, without any furtherance of
their intended voyage; suffering continual rain, wind, snow, hail,
hunger, loss of anchors, and spoiling of their ships and tackling,
sickness, death, and savages, want of stores and store of wants, so that
they endured a fulness of misery. The extreme cold increased their
appetites, which decreased their provisions, and made them anxious to
look out for more.

On the 7th May, going in their boats to take gudgeons on the south side
of the straits, opposite Green bay, they descried seven canoes with
savages, who _seemed_ ten or eleven feet high, with red bodies and long
hair.[47] The Dutch were much amazed at these men, who likewise
terrified them with stones and loud cries. The Dutch got immediately
into their boats, and stood on their defence; but when the savages saw
four or five of their companions fall down dead, slain by Dutch thunder,
they fled to the land; and plucking up large trees, barricaded
themselves against the Hollanders, who left them. After this, three of
the Dutchmen, in seeking food to preserve their life, found death at the
hands of naked savages, who were armed with barbed darts, which, if they
entered the flesh, had to be cut out.

[Footnote 47: This is the first notice we have yet met with of the
long-famed Patagonians; but their enormous stature in the text is very
diffidently asserted. We shall have future opportunities of becoming
better acquainted with these South American giants. Perhaps the original
may only have said they seemed ten or eleven _spans_ high, and some
careless editor chose to substitute _feet_.--E.]

This Green bay, in which they staid so long, was named Cordes bay after
the commander. In another, called Horse bay, they erected a new guild or
fraternity, binding themselves with much solemnity and many oaths to
certain articles, and calling it the _Fraternity of the Freed Lion_. The
general added six chosen men to himself in this society, and caused
their names to be engraven on a board, which was hung up on high
pillars, to be seen by all passing that way; but it was defaced by the
savages, who likewise disinterred the dead bodies from their graves and
dismembered them, carrying one away.

The 3d September, they left the straits, and continued till the 7th,
when De Wert was forced to stay by a storm, and the Faith and Fidelity
were left behind in much misery, hunger, tempests, leaks, and other
distress. The death of their master, and the loss of their consorts,
added much to their misery, and in the end of the month they were forced
again into the straits; after which, in two months, they had not one
fair day to dry their sails. The 14th October, the Faith lost two
anchors. To one place they gave the name of Perilous bay, and called
another Unfortunate bay, in remembrance of their distresses, to all of
which the devil added mutiny among their people and thieving. They took
a savage woman who had two children, one of whom they thought to be only
six months old, yet it could walk readily, and had all its teeth. I
loath to relate their loathsome feeding, with the blood running from
their mouths. They here met General Oliver Noort, whose men were all
lusty, and was yet unable to spare them any relief. After a world of
straits in these straits, too long to rehearse, they departed thence on
the 22d January, 1600, and arrived in the Maese on the 14th July.
Without the straits, in lat. 50 deg. 40' S. they saw three islands, sixty
miles from land, stored with penguins, which they called the Sebaldines
of the Indies, but which are not inserted in maps.[48]

[Footnote 48: The only islands which agree in any respect with the
position assigned in the text, are the north-westermost of the Malouines
or Falkland islands, which are nearly in that latitude, but much farther
from the land.--E.]

Sec. 2. _First Letter of William Adams_.

Hearing that some English merchants are residing in the island of Java,
although by name unknown, and having an opportunity, I presume to write
these lines, desiring your worshipful company, being unknown to me, to
pardon my boldness. The reason of my writing is chiefly that my
conscience binds me to love my country and country men. Your worships
will therefore please to understand that I am a Kentish man, born in the
town of Gillingham, two miles from Rochester and one mile from Chatham,
where the king's ships lie; and that from the age of twelve years I was
brought up at Limehouse near London, being apprentice twelve years to
one Mr Nicholas Diggines. I have served both as master and pilot in her
majesty's ships; and served eleven or twelve years with the worshipful
company of Barbary merchants. When the Indian trade of Holland began, I
was desirous of making some trial of the small knowledge which God hath
given me in that navigation. So, in the year 1598, I was hired as chief
pilot of a fleet of five sail, which was fitted out by Peter Vanderhag
and Hans Vanderuke, the chiefs of the Dutch India company. A merchant
named Jaques Mayhay,[49] was general of this fleet, in whose ship I was

[Footnote 49: Called Mahu in the preceding narrative.--E.]

It being the 23d or 24th of June before we set sail, we were too late in
coming to the line to pass it without contrary winds, for it was then
the middle of September, at which time we found much southerly winds,
and many of our men fell sick, so that we were obliged to go upon the
coast of Guinea to Cape Lopo Gonsalves, where we landed our sick men,
many of whom died. Few recovered here, as the climate was very
unhealthy, and we could procure little or no refreshment. We determined
therefore, for the fulfilment of our voyage, to sail for the coast of
Brazil, and to pass through the straits of Magellan. By the way we came
to an island called _Ilha da Anobon_, where we landed and took the town,
consisting of about eighty houses. We refreshed in this island, where we
had plenty of lemons, oranges, and various other fruits; but such was
the unhealthiness of the air, that as one grew better another fell sick.
We spent upon the coast of Cape Gonsalves and at Anobon about two
months, till the 12th or 13th of November, when we sailed from Anobon,
having the wind still at S. by E. and S.S.E. till we got four degrees
south of the line; at which time the winds became more favourable,
coming to S.E. E.S.E. and E. so that we ran from Anobon to the straits
in about five months. During this passage, one of our ships carried away
her mainmast, by which we were much hindered, having to set up a new
mast at sea.

The 29th of March we espied the land in the latitude of 50 deg. S. after
having the wind for two or three days contrary; but the wind becoming
again fair, we got into the straits of Magellan on the 6th April, 1599,
by which time the winter was come on, so that there was much snow.
Through cold and hunger combined, our men became very weak. We had the
wind at east for five or six days, in which time we might have passed
through the straits; but we waited refreshing our men, taking in wood
and water, and setting up a pinnace of about fifteen or sixteen tons. At
length, we would have passed the straits, but could not, on account of
southerly winds, attended by much rain and great cold, with snow and
ice; so that we had to winter in the straits, remaining there from the
6th April till the 24th September, by which time almost all our
provisions were spent, so that many of our men died of hunger. Having
passed through the straits into the South Sea, we found many violent
currents, and were driven south into 54 degrees, where we found the
weather excessively cold. Getting at last favourable winds, we
prosecuted our intended voyage towards the coast of Peru; but in the
end lost our whole fleet, being all separated from each other.

Before the fleet separated, we had appointed, in case of separation by
foul weather, that we should wait on the coast of Chili, in the latitude
of 46 deg. S. for thirty days, in hopes of rejoining. Accordingly, I went to
that latitude, where we remained twenty-eight days, and procured
refreshments from the natives, who were very good-natured, though the
Spaniards had nearly prevented them at first from dealing with us. They
brought us sheep and potatoes, for which we gave them bells and knives;
but at length they retired into the country, and came no more near us.
Having set up a pinnace which we brought with us, and remained in
waiting for our consorts during twenty-eight days, we proceeded to the
port of _Baldivia_ in lat. 40 deg. 20' S. but entered not by reason of
contrary winds, on which we made for the island of _Mocha_, where we
arrived next day. Finding none of our ships there, we sailed for the
island of _Santa Maria_,[50] and came next day to the Cape, which is
within a league and half of that island, where we saw many people; being
much tempest-tost endeavouring to go round that cape, and finding good
ground, we came to anchor in a fine sandy bay, in fifteen fathoms water.

[Footnote 50: The island of Santa Maria, or St Mary, is on the coast of
Chili near Conception, in about the latitude 86 deg. 50' N.]

We went in our boat, to endeavour to enter into a friendly conference
with the natives, but they opposed our landing, and shot a great many
arrows at our men. Yet, having no victuals in our ship, and hoping to
procure refreshments here, we forcibly landed between twenty-seven and
thirty men, driving the natives from the shore, but had most of our men
wounded by their arrows. Being now on land, we made signs to them of
friendship, and at length succeeded in bringing them to an amicable
conference, by means of signs and tokens which the people understood. By
our signs we communicated our desire to procure provisions, in exchange
for iron, silver, and cloth. They gave us some wine, potatoes, and
fruits; and desired us by signs to return to our ship, and come back the
next day, when they would supply us with victuals. It being now late,
our people came on board, most of them more or less hurt, yet glad of
having brought the natives to a parley.

Next day, the 9th November, 1599, our captain and all our officers
prepared to land, having come to the resolution of only going to the
shore, and landing two or three men at the most, as the people were very
numerous, and our people were not willing to put too much trust in them.
Our captain went in one of our boats, with all the force we were able to
muster; and when near the shore, the natives made signs for him to land,
which our captain was not willing to do. But as the natives did not come
near the boats, our captain and the rest determined to land,
notwithstanding what had been agreed upon in the ship. At length
twenty-three men landed, armed with muskets, and marched up towards four
or five houses; but had hardly got a musketshot shot from the boats,
when above a thousand Indians fell upon them from an ambush, with such
weapons as they had, and slew them all within our sight. Our boats
waited long, to see if any of our men would return; but seeing no hope
to recover any of them, they returned to the ship with, the sorrowful
news that all who had landed were slain. This was a most lamentable
affair, as we had scarcely as many men remaining as could weigh our

We went next day over to the island of St Mary, where we found our
admiral, who had arrived there four days before us, and had departed
from the island of _Mocha_ the day after we came from thence, the
general, master, and all the officers having been _wounded_ on
shore.[51] We were much grieved for our reciprocal misfortunes, so that
the one bemoaned the other, yet were glad that we had come together
again. My good friend Timothy Shotten of London was pilot of this ship.
At this island of St Mary, which is in lat. 37 deg. S, [36 deg. 50'] near the
coast of Chili, it was concluded to take every thing into one of the
ships, and burn the other; but the new captains could not agree which of
the ships to burn, so that this agreement was not executed. Having much
cloth in our ships, it was agreed to steer for Japan, which we
understood was a good market for cloth; and we were the more inclined to
this measure, because the King of Spain's ships upon the coast of Peru
having now intelligence of us, would come in search of us, and knew that
we were weak by the loss of our men, which was all too true, for one of
our ships, as we learnt afterwards, was forced to surrender to the enemy
at St Jago.

[Footnote 51: In the second letter, the general and twenty-seven men are
said to have been _slain_ at Mocha.--E.]

Having procured refreshments at Santa Maria, more by policy than force,
we departed from the road of that island on the 27th November with our
two ships, having heard nothing of the rest of our fleet. We took our
course direct for Japan, and passed the line together, keeping company
till we came into the latitude of 28 deg. N. in which latitude, on the 22d
and 23d of February, we had as heavy a storm of wind as I ever saw,
accompanied with much rain; during which storm we lost sight of our
other and larger ship, being very sorry to be left alone, yet comforted
ourselves with the hope of meeting again at Japan. Continuing our course
as we best could for wind and weather, till we were in the lat. of 30 deg.
N. we sought for the _north_ cape of that island, but found it not;
because it is falsely laid down in all charts, maps, and globes, for
that cape is 35 deg. 30' N. which is a great difference.[52] At length, in
32 deg. 30' N. we saw land on the 19th April, having been four months and
twenty-two days between Santa Maria and Japan, and at this time there
were only six men, besides myself, who could stand on their feet.

[Footnote 52: The geographical notices in the text are hardly
intelligible. The northern cape of Japan is in 40 deg. 30' N. _Sanddown_
point, towards the _south_ end of the eastern side of the great island
of Niphon, is nearly in the latitude indicated in the text. The latitude
of 32 deg. 30', where, according to Adams, they had first sight of Japan, is
on the eastern side of Kiusiu, the south-western island of Japan, in
long. 131 deg. 25' E. while Sanddown point is in long. 141 deg. E. from

Being now in safety, we let go our anchor about a league from a place
called _Bungo_.[53] Many boats came off to us, and we allowed the people
to come on board, being quite unable to offer any resistance; yet,
though we could only understand each other very imperfectly by signs,
the people did us no harm. After two or three days, a jesuit came to us
from a place called Nangasacke, to which place the Portuguese caraks
from Macao are in use to come yearly. This man, with some Japanese
chieftains, interpreted for us, which was bad for us, being our mortal
enemies; yet the King of Bungo, where we had arrived, shewed us great
friendship, giving us a house on shore for our sick, and every
refreshment that was needful. When we came to anchor off Bungo, we had
twenty-four men living, sick and well, of whom three died next day, and
other three after continuing long sick, all the rest recovering.

[Footnote 53: In modern maps, Bungo is the name of the middle province
on the eastern side of Japan, and includes the indicated latitude, the
nearest sea-port town being named _Nocea_, thirty-five miles farther
north. But as we have hardly any intercourse with Japan, our maps of
that country are very imperfect.--E.]

The Emperor of Japan hearing of us, sent presently five gallies, or
frigates, to us at Bungo, with orders to bring me to the court where he
resided, which was almost eighty English leagues from Bungo.[54] When I
came before him, he demanded to know from what country we were, and I
answered him in all points. There was nothing almost that he did not
enquire about, more especially concerning war and peace between
different countries, to all of which I answered to the best of my
knowledge, which were too long to write off at this time. After this
conference, I was ordered to prison along with one of our mariners, who
had accompanied me to serve me, but we were well used there. Some two
days afterwards the emperor sent for me again, and demanded the reason
of our having come so far. I made answer, that we were a people who
sought peace and friendship with all nations, and to have trade with all
countries, bringing such merchandise as our country had, and buying such
others in foreign countries as were in request in ours, through which
reciprocal traffic both countries were enriched. He enquired much
respecting the wars between us and the Spaniards and Portuguese, and the
causes of the same, all the particulars of which I explained to him,
with which he seemed much pleased. After this I was again remanded to
prison, but in another place, where my lodging was bettered.[55]

[Footnote 54: This was Osaca, which is eighty leagues from

Osaka, in a straight line, is about ninety marine leagues, or 276
English miles, from the coast of Bungo.--E.]

[Footnote 55: The second letter, addressed to his wife, breaks off

I continued thirty-nine days in prison, hearing no news of our ship or
captain, and knew not whether he were recovered or not, neither
respecting the rest of our company. In all that time I expected
continually to be crucified, as is the custom of Japan, as hanging is
with us; for during my long imprisonment, the Portuguese and jesuits
gave many false accounts against us to the emperor, alledging that we
were thieves, who went about to rob and plunder all nations, and that if
we were suffered to live it would be to the injury of the emperor and
his nation; for then no nation would come there without robbing, but if
justice were executed upon us, it would terrify the rest of our nation
from coming there any more. They thus persuaded the emperor daily to cut
us off, making all the friends at court they could to back them. But God
was merciful to us, and would not permit them to have their will against
us. At length the emperor gave them this answer: "That, as we had done
no hurt to him or any of his subjects, it was contrary to reason and
justice to put us to death; and if our country and theirs were at war,
that was no reason why he should punish us." They were quite cast down
by this answer, seeing their cruel intentions towards us disappointed,
for which God be praised for ever and ever.

While I remained in prison, the emperor gave orders for our ship to be
brought as near to the city where he resided as possible, which was done
accordingly. Then, on the one and fortieth day of my imprisonment, I was
again brought before the emperor, who asked me many more questions,
which were too long to write. In conclusion, he asked me if I wished to
go to the ship to see my countrymen, which I said would give me much
satisfaction. So he bad me go, and I departed, being freed from
imprisonment. I now first learnt that our ship and company were come to
the city where the emperor resided; whereupon, with a joyous heart, I
took a boat and went on board, where I found our captain and the rest
recovered from their sickness. At our meeting they saluted me with
tears, having heard that I was long since put to death. Thus, God be
praised, all we that were left alive came again together.

All our things were taken out of our ship, all my instruments and other
things being taken away, so that I had nothing left but the clothes on
my back, and all the rest were in a similar predicament. This had been
done unknown to the emperor, and, being informed of it, he gave orders
to restore every thing to us; but they were all so dispersed among many
hands that this could not be done. Wherefore 50,000 ryals were ordered
to be given us, which the emperor himself saw delivered into the hands
of one of his officers, who was appointed our governor, with orders to
supply us from that fund as we had occasion, to enable us to purchase
provisions, and all other necessary charges. At the end of thirty days,
during which time our ship lay before a city called _Sakay_, three
leagues, or two and a half, from _Osaka_, where the emperor then
resided, an order was issued that our ship should be carried to the
eastern part of the land of Japan called _Quanto_, whither, according to
his commands, we went, the distance being about 120 leagues. Our passage
there was long, owing to contrary winds.

Coming to the land of _Quanto_, and near to the city of _Eddo, [Jedo,]_
[56] where the emperor then was, we used many supplications to get our
ship set free, and to be allowed to seek our best profit at the place
where the Hollanders have their trade,[57] in the prosecution of which
suit we expended much of the money given us by the emperor. In this time
three or four of our men mutinied against the captain and me, and drew
in the rest of our men, by which we had much trouble with them, every
one endeavouring to be commander, and all being desirous to share among
them the money given us by the emperor. It would be too tedious to
relate all the particulars of this disturbance. Suffice it to say, that
we divided the money, giving to every one a share according to his
place. This happened when we had been two years in Japan. After this,
when we had received a positive denial to our petition for having our
ship restored, and were told that we must abide in Japan, our people,
who had now their shares of the money, dispersed themselves, every one
to where he thought best. In the end, the emperor gave to every one to
live upon two pounds of rice daily, and so much yearly as was worth
eleven or twelve ducats, the captain, myself, and the mariners all

[Footnote 56: Osaka, at the head of a bay of the same name on the south
side of Niphon, is in lat. 34 deg. 58' N. long. 135 deg. 5' E. Sakay, or Sakai,
on the eastside of the same bay, is about fifteen miles directly south
from Osaka. Eddo, or Jedo, at the head of a bay of that name, likewise
on the south side of Niphon, is in lat. 35 deg. 38' long. 140 deg. E. from

[Footnote 57: This is probably an anachronism, meaning the place where
the Hollanders had been allowed to trade by the time when Adams wrote in

In the course of three or four years the emperor called me before him,
as he had done several times before, and on this occasion he would have
me to build him a small ship. I answered that I was not a carpenter, and
had no knowledge in ship-building. "Well then," said he, "do it as well
as you can, and if it be not well done, there is no matter." Accordingly
I built a ship for him of about eighty tons burthen, constructed in all
proportions according to our manner. He came on board to see her, and
was much pleased, so that I grew into favour with him, was often
admitted to his presence, and received presents from him from time to
time, and at length got an yearly revenue to live upon, equal to about
seventy ducats, besides two pounds of rice daily, as before. Being in
such grace and favour, owing to my having taught him some parts of
geometry and mathematics, with other things, I so pleased him, that
whatever I said was not to be contradicted. My former enemies, the
jesuits and Portuguese, wondered much at this, and often solicited me to
befriend them with the emperor, so that through my means both Spaniards
and Portuguese have frequently received favours, and I thus recompensed
their evil with good. In this manner, though at first it cost me much
labour and pains to pass my time and procure a living, God hath at
length blessed my endeavours.

At the end of five years I made supplication to the emperor for leave to
quit Japan, desiring to see my poor wife and children, according to
nature and conscience; but he was displeased with my request, and would
not permit me to go away, saying that I must continue in the country.
Yet in process of time, being greatly in his favour, I made supplication
again, hearing that the Hollanders were in Acheen and Patane, which
rejoiced us much, in the hopes that God would enable us to return again
to our country by some means or other. I told him, if he would permit me
to depart, I would be the means of bringing both the English and
Hollanders to trade in his country. He said that he was desirous of both
these nations visiting his country in the way of trade, and desired me
to write to them for that purpose, but would by no means consent to my
going away. Seeing, therefore, that I could not prevail for myself; I
petitioned him for leave to our captain to depart, which he readily
granted. Having thus procured his liberty, the captain embarked in a
Japanese junk, in which he went to Patane, where he waited a year for
Dutch ships; but none arriving in that time, he went from Patane to
Johor, where he found a fleet of nine sail, of which _Matleet_ was
general, and in which fleet he was again made a master.

This fleet sailed for Malacca, where it fought with a Portuguese
squadron, in which battle he was slain; so that I think as yet there can
be no certain news respecting me, whether I be alive or dead. Wherefore
I am very desirous that my wife and two children may learn that I am
alive in Japan; my wife being in a manner a widow, and my children
fatherless; which alone is my greatest grief of heart, and sorely
afflicts me. I am a man not unknown in Ratcliff and Limehouse;
particularly to my good master Mr Nicholas Diggines, Mr Thomas Best, Mr
Nicholas Isaac and Mr William Isaac, brothers, with many others, as also
to Mr William Jones and Mr Becket. Therefore, if this letter, or a copy
of it, may come into any of their hands, I am sure that such is their
goodness, that they will communicate the news to my family and friends,
that I do as yet live in this vale of sinful pilgrimage: Which, thing I
do again and again earnestly desire may be done, for the sake of Jesus.

You are to understand, that the first ship I built for the emperor made
a voyage or two, whereupon he commanded me to build another, which I did
of the size of 120 tons. In this ship I made a voyage from Meaco[58][in
lat. 35 deg. 12' N. long. 135 deg. 37' E.] to Jeddo, being about as far as
London is from the Lizard or Land's-end of England. In the year 1609,
the emperor lent this ship to the governor of Manilla, to go with 86 of
his men to Accapulco. In the same year 1609, a great ship of about 1000
tons, called the San Francisco, was cast away on the east coast of
Japan, in the latitude of 30 deg. 50' N. Being in great distress in a storm,
she cut her mainmast by the board, and bore away for Japan; and in the
night time, before they were aware, the ship ran on shore, and was
utterly wrecked, 136 men being drowned, and 340 or 350 saved, in which
ship the governor of Manilla was going as a passenger for New Spain.
This governor was sent off to Accapulco, as before said, in the larger
ship of my building, and 1611 he sent back another ship in her stead,
with a great present, and an ambassador to the emperor, giving him great
thanks for his kindness, and sending the value of the emperor's ship in
goods and money: which ship of my building, the Spaniards now have at
the Philippine islands.

[Footnote 58: Meaco is entirely an inland city, thirty-five miles from
Osaka, and on the same river, which runs into the bay of Osaka two or
three miles below the latter city. It is probable, therefore, that this
ship may have been built at Meaco, and floated down the river to the bay
of Osaka.--E.]

At this time, for the services which I have performed to the emperor,
and am daily performing, he hath given me a living, like unto a
lordship in England, in which there are eighty or ninety husbandmen, who
are as my servants and slaves, the like having never been done to any
stranger before in this country. Thus God hath amply provided for me
after my great misery To his name be the praise for ever and ever.
_Amen_. But whether I shall ever get out of this land or not I know not.
Until this present year, 1611, there has been no way or manner of
accomplishing this my earnest desire, which there now is through the
trade of the Hollanders. In 1609, two ships belonging to Holland came to
Japan, in the intention of taking the carak which comes yearly from
Macao. Being five or six days too late for that purpose, they came
notwithstanding to Firando.[59] From thence they waited on the emperor,
and were received in a friendly manner, receiving permission to come
yearly to Japan with one or two ships, and so departed with the
emperor's pass or licence. In consequence of this permission, a small
ship is arrived this year, 1611, with cloth, lead, elephants' teeth,
damask, black taffeties, raw silk, pepper, and other commodities; and
have given a sufficient excuse why they missed the former year, as had
been promised. This ship was well received, and entertained in a
friendly manner.

[Footnote 59: Firando is an island about twenty miles in diameter, in
the west of Japan, the centre of which is in lat. 33 deg. 10' N. and long.
128 deg. 30' E. from Greenwich.--E.]

You must understand that the Hollanders have here _an Indies_ of money
and profit; as by this trade they do not need to bring silver from
Holland to the East Indies; for in Japan there is much silver and gold,
to serve their turn in other places of the East Indies where it is
needed. The merchandise that is most vendible here for ready money, is
raw silk, damask, black taffety, black and red cloth of the best kind,
lead, and such like goods. Learning, by this lately-arrived Hollander,
that a settled trade is now carried on by my countrymen in the East
Indies, I presume that some among them, merchants, masters, or mariners,
must needs know me. Therefore am I emboldened to write these few lines,
which I have made as short as I could, not to be too tedious to the

This country of Japan is a great island, reaching in its northern part
to the latitude of forty-eight degrees,[60] and its most southerly part
is in thirty-five degrees, both north. Its length from east by north to
west by south, for such is its direction, is 220 English leagues. The
breadth from south to north is thirteen degrees, twenty leagues to the
degree, or 260 leagues, so that it is almost square. The inhabitants of
Japan are good-natured, courteous above measure, and valiant in war.
Justice is executed with much severity, and is distributed impartially,
without respect of persons, upon all transgressors of the law. They are
governed in great civility, and I think that no part of the world has
better civil policy. The people are very superstitious in their
religion, and entertain various opinions or beliefs. There are many
jesuits and franciscan friars in the country, and who have many churches
in the land.

[Footnote 60: The island of Japan Proper reaches only to lat. 40 deg. 37' N.
and the southern coast of Tacuxima, its most southerly detached isle, is
in lat. 32 deg. 28'. The most southerly point of the largest island of Niphon
being in 33 deg. 3' N. The extreme length of Niphon, in a slight curve from
N.E. to S.W. is about 815 English miles; or, continuing the measure to
the S.W. extremity of Kiusiu at Cape Nomo, about 1020 miles. The breadth
is very irregular, but cannot exceed 100 miles on the average.--E.]

Thus shortly am I constrained to write, hoping that by one means or
other I may hear of my wife and children in process of time, and so with
patience I wait the good will and pleasure of Almighty God; earnestly
desiring all those to whom this letter may come, to use means to
acquaint my good friends before named of its contents; that so my wife
and children may hear of me, and I may have hope to hear of them before
I die. Which God grant, to his glory and my comfort. _Amen_.

Dated in Japan, the 22d of October, 1611, by your unworthy friend and
servant, to command in what I can,


Sec.3. _Letter of William Adams to his Wife_.[61]

Loving wife, you shall hereby understand how all things have passed with
me since I left you. We sailed from the Texel with five ships, on the
24th June, 1598, and took our departure from the coast of England the
5th July. The 21st August we came to St Jago, one of the Cape Verd
Islands, where we remained twenty-four days. In this time many of our
men fell sick, through the unwholesomeness of the air, and our general
among the rest. We abode so long among these islands, because one of the
captains of our fleet made our general believe that we should find
plenty of refreshments there, as goats and other things, which was not
the case. I and all the pilots in the fleet were here called to council;
but as we all declared ourselves much averse to the place, our opinions
were so much disliked by the captains, that they agreed among themselves
to call us no more to council.

[Footnote 61: Although this fragment relates to the same circumstances
that are detailed in the former letter, these are frequently given more
at large, and it has therefore been retained.--E.]

The 15th September we departed from St Jago, and passed the equator; and
in the lat. of 3 deg. S. our general died. The season being much too late,
we were forced upon the coast of Guinea, falling in with a headland
called _Cabo de Spiritu Santo_. The new general commanded us to bear up
for Cape Lopo Gonsalves, to seek refreshments for our men, which was
done accordingly. We landed all our sick at that place, where they did
not find much benefit, as we could get no store of provisions. The 29th
December we resumed our voyage, and on our way fell in with an island
called Anobon, where we landed our sick men, taking possession of the
island by force, the town containing about eighty houses. Having here
refreshed our men, we again set sail, our general giving out in orders,
that each man was only to have the allowance of one pound of bread in
four days, being a quarter of a pound daily, with a like reduced
allowance of wine and water. This scarcity of victuals made our men so
feeble, that they fell into great weakness and sickness for very hunger,
insomuch that they eat the calf-skins with which our ropes were covered.

The 3d April, 1599, we fell in with port St Julian,; and on the 6th we
entered the Straits of Magellan, which are at first narrow. The 8th day
we passed the second narrows with a fair wind, and came to anchor at
Penguin Island, where we landed, and loaded our boat with penguins.
These are fowls larger than ducks, and proved a great refreshment to us.
The 10th we weighed anchor, having much wind, yet fair for our passage;
but our general insisted upon taking in wood and water for all our
ships, of which there is great abundance in all parts of the straits,
and good anchoring grounds every three or four leagues. In the mean time
the wind changed, and became southerly; so we sought for a good harbour
on the north side of the straits, four leagues from Elizabeth Bay. April
being out, we had a wonderful quantity of snow and ice, with great
winds; for the winter there is in April, May, June, July, and August,
being in 52 deg. 30' S. Many times during the winter we had the wind fair
for passing through the straits, but our general would not; so that we
remained in the straits till the 24th August,[62] 1599, on which day we
came into the South Sea. Six or seven days after the whole fleet was
separated, and the storm-continuing long, we were driven south, into 1st
54 deg. 30' S. The weather clearing up, with a fair wind, we saw the admiral
again, to our great joy. Eight or ten days afterwards, having very heavy
wind in the night, our foresail was blown away, and we again lost sight
of the admiral.

[Footnote 62: In the former letter this is called the 24th September,
which seems to be the true date from what follows--E.]

Having a fair wind for that purpose, we directed our course for the
coast of Chili, where we arrived on the 29th October, at a place
appointed by the general for a rendezvous, in lat. 46 deg. S. where we
waited twenty-eight days, and set up a pinnace. In this place we found
people, with whom we had friendly intercourse for five or six days,
during which they brought us sheep, for which we gave them bells and
knives, with which they seemed contented. But shortly afterwards they
all went away from the place where our ship lay, and we saw no more of
them. The twenty-eight days being expired, we set sail in the intention
to go to Baldivia, and came to the mouth of the port; but as the wind
was high, our captain changed his mind, and we directed our course for
the island of Mocha, in thirty-eight degrees, where we arrived the 1st
November. The wind being still high, we durst not come to anchor, and
directed our course for Cape St Mary, two leagues south of the island of
that name. Having no knowledge of the people, our men landed on the 2d
of November, and the natives fought with them, wounding eight or, nine
of our people; but in the end the natives made a false composition of
friendship with them, which our men believed sincere.

Next day our captain went on shore, with twenty-three of our best men,
meaning to get victuals in exchange for goods, as we were reduced to
great straits. Two or three of the natives came immediately to the boat,
bringing a kind of wine and some roots, and making signs for our people
to land, where they would get sheep and oxen. The captain and men went
accordingly on shore, being very anxious to get provisions; but above a
thousand of the natives broke out upon them from an ambush, and slew
them all, among whom was my brother, Thomas Adams. After this severe
loss we had hardly as many men remaining as could hoist our anchor; so
on the 3d November, in great distress and heaviness of mind, we went to
the island of Santa Maria, where we found our admiral ship, by which our
hearts were somewhat comforted: but when we went on board, we found them
in as great distress as ourselves, the general and twenty-seven of their
men having been slain at the island of Mocha, from whence they had
departed the day before we passed that island. We here consulted what we
should do to procure victuals, not being in condition to go to land and
take them by force, as most of our remaining men were sick.

While in this sad dilemma, there came a Spaniard on board by composition
to see our ship. He came on board again the next day, and we allowed him
quietly to depart. The following day two Spaniards came, on board,
without pawn or surety, to see if they could betray us. When they had
seen our ship, they were for going again on land; but we would not let
them, saying, as they had come on board without leave, we should not
permit them to go away till we thought fit, at which they were very much
offended. We then told them how much we were in want of victuals, and
said if they would let us have such a number of sheep and ewes, that we
would set them at liberty. Thus, against their wills, they entered into
a composition with us, which, within the time appointed, they
accomplished. Having procured so much refreshment, most of our men

In consequence of the death of the general, one Hudcopee, a young man,
who knew nothing, and had served the former, was made general in his
stead; and the master of our ship, Jacob Quaternack, of Rotterdam, was
made captain of our ship, in the place of him who had been slain. So the
new general and vice-admiral called me and the other pilot, an
Englishman, named Timothy Shorten, who had been with Mr Thomas Candish
in his voyage round the world, and desired our advice how to prosecute
the voyage for the best profits of our merchants. It was at last
resolved to go for Japan, as, by the report of one Dirrick Gerritson,
who had been there with the Portuguese, woollen cloth was in great
estimation in that island; and we concluded that the Moluccas, and most
other parts of the East Indies, being hot countries, our woollen cloth
would not be there in much request: wherefore we all agreed to go for
Japan. Leaving, therefore, the coast of Chili, in lat. 36 deg. S. on the 27th
November, 1599, we shaped our course direct for Japan, and passed the
equinoctial line with a fair wind, which lasted several months. In our
way we fell in with certain islands in lat. 16 deg. N. of which the
inhabitants are canibals.[63] Coming near these islands, our pinnace,
with eight men, ran from us, and were eaten, as we supposed, by the
savages, of whom we took one man.

[Footnote 63: These islands seem to be the Ladrones.--_Purchas_.]

In the latitude of 27 or 28 degrees north, we had variable winds and
stormy weather; and on the 24th February, 1600, we lost sight of our
admiral, and never saw his ship more; yet we still continued our course
for Japan. The 24th March we saw an island called _Una Colona_, at which
time many of our men were again sick, and several dead. We were in the
utmost misery, not above nine or ten of our men being able to creep
about on their hands and knees; while our captain and all the rest were
expecting every hour to die. The 11th April, 1600, we had sight of
Japan, near to _Bungo_, at which time there were not more than five of
us able to stand. The 12th we came close to Bungo, and let go our
anchor, many barks coming aboard of us, the people whereof we willingly
allowed to come into our ship, having indeed no power to resist them.
These people did us no personal injury; but they stole every thing they
could lay their hands upon, for which some paid very dear afterwards.
Next day the king of that land sent a party of soldiers on board, to
prevent the merchant goods from being stolen. Two or three days after,
our ship was brought into a good harbour, there to remain till the
emperor of the whole island was informed of our arrival, and should give
his orders as to what was to be done with us. In the meantime we
petitioned the King of Bungo for leave to land our captain and the other
sick men, which was granted, having a house appointed for them, in which
they were all laid, and had all manner of refreshments given them.

After we had been five or six days here, there came a Portuguese jesuit,
with other Portuguese, who falsely reported of us that we were pirates,
and not at all in the way of trade; which scandalous reports caused the
governors and people to think very ill of us, so that we even looked for
being set upon crosses, which is the punishment in this land for
thievery and some other crimes. Thus daily did the Portuguese incense
the rulers and the people against us. At this time two of our men became
traitors, giving themselves up to the service of the emperor, and
becoming all in all with the Portuguese, who warranted them their lives.
One was named Gilbert de Conning, whose mother dwelt in Middleburg, who
gave himself out as the merchant over all the goods in the ship; the
name of the other was John Abelson van Oudwater. These traitors tried
every means to get the goods into their hands; and made known to the
Portuguese every thing that had happened during our voyage.

Nine days after our arrival, the emperor, or great king of the land,
sent for me to come to him. So, taking one man with me, I went to him,
taking leave of our captain and the sick men, and commending myself into
HIS hands who had hitherto preserved me from the perils of the sea. I
was carried in one of the emperor's gallies to the court of Osaka, where
the emperor then resided, being about eighty leagues from where our ship
lay. On the 12th May, 1600, I came to the city of Osaka, and was brought
immediately into the presence of the emperor, his palace being a
wonderfully costly house, gilded with gold in great profusion. On coming
before him, he viewed me well, and seemed favourably disposed towards
me, making many signs to me, some of which I comprehended, and others
not. After some time there came one who could speak Portuguese, who
acted as interpreter. Through this person the king demanded to know from
what country I was, and what had induced us to come to his land, at so
great a distance from our own country. I then told him whence we were,
that our country had long sought out the East Indies, desiring to live
in peace and friendship with all kings and potentates in the way of
trade; having in our country various commodities which these lands had
not, and wishing to purchase such commodities in this land as our
country did not possess. He then asked me if our country had any wars;
to which I answered, that we were at war with the Spaniards and
Portuguese, but at peace with all other nations. He farther asked me,
what was my religious belief; to which I made answer, that I believed in
God, who created the heavens and the earth. After many questions about
religion and many other things, he asked me by what way we came to his
country. Having with me a chart of the world, I showed him the way in
which we had come, through the straits of Magellan; at which he
wondered, and seemed as if he did not believe I spoke truth. Asking me
what merchandise we had in our ship, I gave him an account of the whole.
Thus, from one thing to another, I remained with him till midnight. In
the end, when he was ready to depart, I desired that we might be allowed
the same freedom of trade which the Spaniards and Portuguese enjoyed. He
made me some answer, but what it was I did not understand, and then
commanded me to be carried to prison.

Two days afterwards he sent for me again, and made many inquiries about
the qualities and conditions of our countries; about wars and peace, of
beasts and cattle of all sorts, of the heavens, and many other things;
and he seemed well pleased with my answers. Yet was I again remanded to
prison; but my lodging was bettered in another place.

* * * * *

"The rest of this letter, by the malice of the bearers, was suppressed,
but was probably the same in substance with the former; yet I have added
this also, because it contains several things not mentioned in the
other. This William Adams _lately_[64] died at Firando, in Japan, as by
the last ship, the James, returning home in the year 1621, we have
received intelligence."--_Purchas_.

[Footnote 64: This is in reference to the year 1625, when the Pilgrims
of Purchas was published.--E.]


_Voyage of Sir Edward Michelburne to India, in_ 1604.[65]


This voyage is given by Purchas under the title of "The Second Voyage of
John Davis, with Sir Edward Michelburne, into the East Indies, in the
Tiger, a ship of 240 tons, with a pinnace, called the Tiger's Whelp."
Purchas adds, that, though later in time than the first voyage set forth
by the English East India Company, he had chosen to insert it in his
work previous to their voyages, because not performed in their
employment; and we have here followed his example, because not one of
the voyages equipped by the Company. It is called the _second_ voyage of
John Davis, because he had been to the East Indies before, as related in
the ninth section of this chapter, and went upon this voyage with Sir
Edward Michelburne. But it ought to have been called his _third_, and
indeed it is actually so named in the table of contents of the Pilgrims;
as, besides his _first_ voyage along with the Dutch in 1594, he appears
to have sailed in the first voyage instituted by the Company for India,
in 1601, under Lancaster. The editor of Astley's Collection supposes
this journal to have been written by the captain or master of one of the
ships, from some expressions in the narrative; at all events, it was
written by some person actually engaged in the voyage. It is very
singular that Sir Edward Michelburne, though a member of the first East
India Company, and the fourth of the list in the original patent, should
have set forth this voyage on private account.

[Footnote 65: Purchas his Pilgrims, I. 192. Astley, I. 306.]

We learn from the annals, of the India Company, that the lord-treasurer
of England, in 1600, when the company was first instituted, proposed
that Sir Edward Michelburne should be appointed to command the first
fleet dispatched to India; but this was firmly declined, as will
afterwards appear. Sir Edward now commanded what may be called an
interloping trading voyage to India, under a licence granted by James I.
in absolute contravention of the exclusive privilege granted to the

* * * * *

The 5th of December, 1604, we sailed from Cowes, in the Isle of Wight,
and arrived in the road of Aratana, in the island of Teneriffe, on the
23d of that month. During the whole night of the 14th January, 1605, we
were troubled with excessive heat, thunder, lightning, and rain. The 6th
we passed the line, shaping our course for the isle of _Noronha_, with
the wind at S.S.E., our course being S.S.W. About three degrees south of
the line, we met with incredible multitudes of fish; so that, with hooks
and harping irons, we took so many dolphins, bonitos, and other fishes,
that our men were quite weary with eating them. There were likewise many
fowls, called _parharaboves_ and _alcatrarzes_. We took many of the
former, as it delights to come to a ship in the night-time, insomuch,
that if you hold up your hand, they will light upon it. The alcatrarze
is a kind of hawk that lives on fish; for, when the bonitos and dolphins
chase the flying fishes in the water till they are forced to take wing
for safety, the alcatrarzes fly after them like hawks after partridges.
I have seen often so many of these flying fishes at one time in the air,
that they appeared at a distance like a large flock of birds. They are
small fishes, hardly so large as a herring.

The 22d of January we came to anchor at the island of Fernando Noronba,
in lat. 4 deg. S. where our skiff was overset going ashore, by the violence
of the surf, and Richard Michelburne, a kinsman of our general, was
drowned, all the rest being saved. The 25th, our long-boat, while going
to fill some empty casks with water, fell in with the same unfortunate
surf, and was overset, when two more of our men were drowned. We were so
much put about in getting wood and water on board, by the danger of the
surf, that we had to pull our casks on shore by means of ropes, and so
back again when filled. Not six days before our arrival, there was a
Holland ship here, whose boat, in going for water, was stove on the
rocks, and all the men dashed to pieces, having their legs and arms cut
from their bodies.

The 26th, the general went on shore to view the island, which was found
entirely waste, being only inhabited by six negro slaves. There were
formerly in this island many goats, and some wild cattle; but as the
Portuguese caraks sometimes water here in their way to the East Indies,
and these poor slaves are left here purposely to kill goats and dry
their flesh for these ships, we could find very few of them. There are,
however, great quantities of turtle-doves, alcatrarzes, and other fowls,
of which we killed many with our fire-arms, and found them excellent
eating. There is likewise here plenty of maize or Guinea wheat, and
abundance of cotton trees, on which grows fine _bombast_; with great
numbers of wild gourds and water melons. Having completed our supply of
wood and water, we came on board, and continued our voyage.

The 12th February, when in lat. 7 deg. 5' S. we saw at night the most
extraordinary sight, in my opinion, that ever was seen. The sea seemed
all night, though the moon was down, all over, as it were, burning and
shining with flames of fire, so that we could have seen to read any book
by its light. The 15th, in the morning, we descried the island, or rock
rather, of Ascension, in lat. 8 deg. 30' S. Towards night, on the 1st April,
we descried land from the maintop, bearing S.S.E. when, according to our
reckoning, we were still 40 leagues off. The 2d, in the morning, we were
close to the land, being ten or twelve leagues north of Saldanha bay.
The 3d we sailed by a small island, which Captain John Davis took to be
one that is some five or six leagues from Saldanha bay, called _Dassen_
island, which our general was desirous to see; wherefore he went on
shore in the skiff, with only the master's mate, the purser, and myself,
with four rowers. While we were on shore, a storm arose, which drove the
ship out of sight of the island, so that we were forced to remain on
shore two days and nights. This island has great numbers of seals and
conies, or rabbits, on which account we called it Conie island.

The 8th, we came to anchor in the road or bay of Saldanha,[66] and went
ashore on the 9th, finding a goodly country, inhabited by the most
savage and beastly people that ever were created. In this place we had
most excellent refreshments, the like of which is not to be found among
any other savage people; for we wanted neither for beef nor mutton, nor
wild-fowl, all the time we lay there. This country is very full of
cattle and sheep, which they keep in great flocks and herds, as we do in
England; and it abounds likewise in wild beasts and birds, as wild deer,
in great abundance, antelopes, baboons, foxes, hares, ostriches, cranes,
pelicans, herons, geese, ducks, pheasants, partridges, and various other
excellent kinds, of which we killed as many as we pleased, with our
fire-arms. The country is most pleasantly watered with many wholesome
springs and brooks, which have their origin in the tops of exceeding
high mountains, and which, pervading the vallies, render them very
fertile. It has many trees growing close-to the sea-shore, not much
unlike our bay trees, but of a much harder consistence. The natives
brought us more cattle and sheep than we could use during all the time
we remained there, so that we carried fresh beef and mutton to sea with
us. For a piece of an old iron hoop, not worth two-pence, we could
purchase a large bullock; and a sheep for a small piece of iron not
worth two or three good hob-nails. These natives go quite naked, having
only a sheep skin on their shoulders, and a small flap of skin before
them, which covers them just as much as if it were not there. While we
were there, they lived on the guts and offal of the meat which we threw
away, feeding in a most beastly manner, as they neither washed nor
cleaned the guts, but covered them merely with hot ashes, and, before
they were heated through, pulled them out, shook them a little, and eat
guts, excrements, ashes and all. They live on raw flesh, and a kind of
roots, which they have in great abundance.

[Footnote 66: This Bay was probably that now called Table bay, which all
the early navigators seem to have denominated Saldanha, or Saldania

We continued here from the 9th April, till the 3d May, by which good
recreation on shore and excellent refreshment, we were all in as good
health as when we first put to sea. The 7th May we were off the Cape of
Good Hope, ten leagues south by estimation, and that night we passed
over the shoals of _cabo das Aguilhas_. The 9th there arose a great
storm, when we lost sight of our pinnace, being driven from her by the
violence of the gale. This storm continued in a most tremendous manner
for two days and two nights, with much rain, thunder, and lightning, and
we often shipped a great deal of water. By reason of the extreme fury of
the tempests, and the danger they find in passing the southern
promontory of Africa, the Portuguese call this place the _Lion of the
Sea_. At night, during the extremity of the storm, there appeared a
flame on our top-mast head, as big as a great candle, which the
Portuguese call _corpo sancto_, holding it as a divine token that the
worst is past when it appears; as, thanks be to God, we had better
weather after. It appeared to us two successive nights, after which we
had a fair wind and good weather. Some think this to be a spirit, while
others say that it is an exhalation of moist vapours. Some affirm that
the ship is fortunate on which it appears, and that she shall not

The 24th, the island of Diego Roiz, in 1st. 19 deg. 40' S. and long. 98 deg. 30'
E. bore north of us, eight leagues distant, about five o'clock[67] We
bore down, intending to have landed there, but the wind freshened so
much in the night that we changed our purpose. We saw many white birds
about this island, having two long feathers in their tails. These birds,
and various other kinds, accompanied us along with, such contrary winds
and gusts that we often split our sails, and being obliged to lie to, or
tack to and again, we rather went to leeward than gained way, having the
wind strong at E.S.E.

[Footnote 67: The latitude and the name agree with Diego Rodriguez; but
the longitude is inexplicable, as Diego Rodriguez is in long. 63 deg. 10' E.
from Greenwich, or 80 deg. 56' from Ferro; making an error of excess in the
text at the least of 17 deg. 51'.--E.]

The 3d June, while standing for the isle _de Cisne_[68] we came again in
sight of Diego Roiz, and bore down for it, intending to wait there for a
fair wind; but finding it a dangerous place, we durst not come thereto
anchor, for fear of the rocks and shoals that lie about it, so that we
changed our purpose, and stood for the East Indies. The 15th of June, we
had sight of the isle _dos Banhos_, in lat. 6 deg. 37' S. and long. 109 deg.
E.[69] These islands are laid down far too much to the west in most
charts. We sent our boats to try if they could here find any good
anchoring ground, but they could find none either on the south or west
shore. There are five of these islands, which abound in fowls, fish, and
cocoa-nuts; and our boats going on shore, brought us off a great store
of all these, which proved a great refreshment to us. Seeing we could
find no good anchorage, as in some places close to the shore we could
find no bottom, while in other places the ground was full of shoals and
sharp rocks, we stood our course as near as we could for India, the
winds being bad and contrary.

[Footnote 68: By some thought to be Diego Rodriguez, by others the
Mauritius, or isle of France.--Astl. 1. 507. a.]

[Footnote 69: A group of islands, one of which is called _Peros Banhos_,
is found about the indicated latitude, and between the longitude of 70 deg.
and 74 deg. E. having a similar excess with what was mentioned before in
regard to Diego Roiz or Rodriguez.--E.]

The 19th of June, we fell in with the island of _Diego Grasiosa_, in
lat. 7 deg. 30' S. and in long. 110 deg. 40' S. by our reckoning.[70] This
seemed a pleasant island, and a good place for refreshment, if any
proper place could be found for anchoring. We sought but little for
anchoring there, as the wind was bad, and the tide set towards the
shore, so that we durst not stay to search any farther. The island
seemed to be some ten or twelve leagues long, abounding in fish and
birds, and appeared an entire forest of cocoa-trees. What else it
yielded we knew not. The 11th July, we again passed the equator, where
we were becalmed, with excessive heat, and much thunder and lightning.
The 19th we descried land, which seemed many islands, locked as it were
into one, in lat. 2 deg. N. under the high coast of the great island of
Sumatra.[71] We here sent off our boat to get some fresh water; but the
sea went with so violent a _breach_ [surf] upon the shore, that the
people durst not land. The natives of the island, or islands, made great
fires along the shore, as if inviting us to land.

[Footnote 70: Diego Garcia, in the indicated latitude nearly, and in
long. 72 deg. E. from Greenwich.--E.]

[Footnote 71: There is no such cluster of islands in the indicated
latitude and situation; but off the S.W. coast of Sumatra, between the
line and lat. 2 deg. N. are several islands of some size, considerably
distant from each other and from Sumatra.--E.]

The 28th we anchored near a small island, where we sent our boat ashore
for fresh water; but finding none, the people brought off some
cocoa-nuts, saying that the island was quite full of cocoa palms, which
had very few nuts upon them. We saw three or four persons on this
island, but they went away and would not come near us: It was supposed
these people were left here to gather cocoa-nuts, to have them ready
when others should come to carry them away. The 26th of the same month,
July 1605, we came to anchor within a league of a large island called
_Bata_,[72] in lat. 20' S. We here set up a shallop or bark, and named
her the _Bat_. This island has no inhabitants, but abounds in woods and
streams of water, as also with fish, monkies, and a kind of bird, said
to be the _bat_ of the country, of which I killed one as large as a
hare. In shape it resembled a squirrel; only that from its sides there
hung down great flaps of skin; which, when he leapt from tree to tree,
he could spread out like a pair of wings, as though to fly with
them.[73] They are very nimble, and leap from bough to bough, often
holding only by their tails. As our shallop was built in _the kingdom of
these beasts_, we called her therefore _the Bat_.

[Footnote 72: _Pulo Botoa_ is about as much north of the line as _Bata_
is said in the text to be south. But the island at which they stopt may
have been _Pulo Mintaon_, about 40 minutes in length from S. to N. and
the north end of which reaches to the equator.--E.]

[Footnote 73: There are a considerable number of animals of this
description, known to naturalists by the general name of flying
squirrels, sciuri volantes, or _Petauri_. The species mentioned in the
text may have been the sciurus petaurista of Linnaeus, the taguan,
flying-cat, flying-hare, or Indian flying-squirrel of various authors.
It is much larger than any others of this genus, being eighteen inches
long from nose to rump. Two varieties are mentioned in authors; one of a
bright chesnut colour; and the other black on the upper parts of the
body, and hoary underneath.--E.]

While walking along the shore on the 29th, I noticed a _roader_, or
small vessel, riding at anchor under a small island about four leagues
off, which made me very glad, hoping it might be our pinnace which we
lost sight of in a great storm near the Cape of Good Hope, and made
haste on board with the news to our general, who sent me with Captain
John Davis next morning to endeavour to find her. On coming to the
place, we found three barks riding under the small isle, the people of
which made signs for us to come to them, informing us they had hens for
sale. Some of them understood Portuguese, so we told them we would go
back to our ship for money, not being then provided; but in reality we
durst not go on board them, not being strong enough in case of
treachery. We went back next morning better furnished, thinking to have
made some purchases; but they had weighed anchor and gone away, seeming
to have been afraid of us.

The 4th August we weighed anchor and stood for Priaman, and on the 9th
the general manned the shallop, and sent us along the coast to see if we
could find any _roaders_, [coasters.] Spying a sail we gave chase, and
finding they could not get away, the people came to anchor and forsook
their bark, going all ashore to an island in a small boat, where we
could not follow them. Going on board the bark, in which not a man
remained, we found it loaded with cocoanuts, cocoa-oil, and fine mats.
Seeing it was such mean stuff, and knowing our general would not have
liked us to take her, we came away, not taking any thing worth speaking
of. The 10th and 11th we stood close along the shore of Sumatra, where
we espied eight _praws_ riding at anchor over against a place called
_Ticoo_. Being in great hope of finding our pinnace, the Tiger's Whelp,
among them, we stood on; and although she was not there, they put us in
good hope, by telling us there was an English ship at Priaman, not above
six leagues from this town of Ticoo. Then standing out to sea to rejoin
our admiral, we got soon on board, and told the news to our general. We
had not sailed a league farther, when our ship grounded on a rock of
white coral: But, God be praised, having a strong breeze, we got her
soon off again without any hurt. On approaching the road of Priaman, we
had the great satisfaction to see our pinnace there, which we had lost
sight of so long before in the storm at the Cape of Good Hope. The
captain and master of the pinnace came to meet us in their skiff, half a
league from the road, and on coming aboard, our general welcomed them,
with a peal of cannon. After many discourses, recounting what had
happened to each during our separation, we came to anchor in the road of
Priaman in good ground and five fathoms water.

The 14th August, the general sent me on shore with a present to the
governor and others, to enquire the price of pepper, to buy fresh
provisions, and to know if our people might land in safety. But on
coming on shore, the governor durst not speak with us in private, on
account of wars then subsisting among them, owing to which they were
jealous of each other. The cause of these wars was this: The old King of
Acheen had two sons, the elder of whom he kept with himself intending
him as his successor, and made the younger King of Pedier; upon which
the elder made his father a prisoner, pretending that he was too old to
govern any longer, and afterwards made war on his younger brother.
Seeing that little good could be done here, and having refreshed with
fresh provisions, we weighed anchor on the 21st, and stood for Bantam.
That same day we took two praws, in which there was nothing but a little
rice. In one of these praws two of our men were sore wounded. Thinking
that all the people had leapt overboard, they boarded the praw; but two
of the natives had hidden themselves behind the sail, and as soon as
the two foremost of our men had entered, they came suddenly from their
concealment, wounded our men very severely, and then leapt into the
water, where they swam like water spaniels. Taking such things as we
liked from the praws, we left them without any farther harm.

We took a fishing boat on the 23d, and let her go again, as she had
nothing of value; only that one of her men was shot through the thigh,
as they resisted us at the first. The 25th we descried a sail, and sent
our shallop, long-boat, and skiff to see what she was, as neither our
ship nor pinnace was able to fetch her, being becalmed. On coming up
with her we desired her to strike, but she would not, so we fought with
her from three in the afternoon till ten at night, by which time our
pinnace came up, when she struck her sails and yielded. We made her fast
to our pinnace, and towed her with us all night. In the morning our
general sent for them to know what they were, and sent three of us on
board to see what she was loaden with. They told our general they were
of Bantam; for which reason, as not knowing what injury he might do to
the English merchants who had a factory at Bantam, and learning from us
that their loading was salt, rice, and china dishes, he sent them again
on board their bark, not suffering the value of a penny to be taken from
them. They stood on for Priaman, and we for Bantam. This bark was of the
burden of about forty tons.

We met a small ship of Guzerat or Cambaya, on the 2d September, of about
eighty tons, which we took and carried into the road of Sillibar, in lat.
4 deg. S. into which road many praws continually come for refreshments, as
they may here have wood, water, rice, buffaloes, goats, hens, plantains,
and fresh fish, but all very dear. Having dispatched our business, we
weighed anchor on the 28th September, and stood for Bantam. The 23d
October, we came to anchor in the road of Marrah in the strait of Sunda,
where we took in fresh water. In this place there is great plenty of
buffaloes, goats, hens, ducks, and many other good things for
refreshment; and the people do not esteem money so much in payment, as
white and painted calicoes, and such like stuffs. If well used, these
people will use you well; but they must be sharply looked after for
stealing, as they think all well got that is stolen from a stranger.

We weighed anchor on the 28th of October from before Marrah, and stood
for Bantam; which is in lat. 6' 40' S. We came this day within three
leagues of Bantam, and anchored for the night. Here we expected to have
met the English fleet, but it had sailed for England three weeks before
our arrival. Yet those who had been left as factors of our nation came
on board us, being glad to see any of their countrymen in so distant a
foreign land. They told our general, that the Hollanders belonging to
the ships in the road, had made very slanderous reports of us to the
King of Bantam, to the following purport: "That we were all thieves and
lawless persons, who came there only to deceive and cheat them, or to
use violence, as time and opportunity might serve; adding, that we durst
not come into the road among them, but kept two or three leagues from
thence for fear of them." When our general heard this report, he was so
much moved to anger, that he immediately weighed anchor, sending word to
the Hollanders that he was coming to ride close by them, and bade the
proudest of them all that durst be so bold as to put out a piece of
ordnance against him: Adding, if they dared either to brave or disgrace
him or his countrymen, he would either sink them or sink by their sides.
There were five ships of these Hollanders, one of which was seven or
eight hundred tons, but all the rest much smaller. We went and anchored
close beside them, but no notice was taken of our general's message; and
though the Hollanders were wont to swagger and make a great stir on
shore, they were so quiet all the time we lay there, that we hardly ever
saw one of them on land.

We took leave of our countrymen, and departed from Bantam on the 2d of
November, shaping our course for Patane. While on our way between the
Chersonesus of Malacca and _Piedra branca_, we met with three praws,
which being afraid of us, anchored so close to the shore that we could
not come near them, either in our ship or pinnace. Our general therefore
manned the shallop with eighteen of us, and sent us to request that he
might have a pilot for money, to carry his ship to Pulo Timaon, which is
about five days sail from where we met them. But, as they saw that our
ship and pinnace were at anchor a mile from them, and could not come
near, they told us flatly that none of them would go with us, and
immediately weighed anchor to go away. We therefore began to fight them
all three, and took one of them in less than, half an hour, all her
men, to the number of seventy-three, getting ashore. Another fought with
us all night, but yielded about break of day next morning, our general
having joined us in his skiff a little while before she yielded. They
were laden with benzoin, storax, pepper, china dishes, and pitch. The
third praw got away while we were fighting the other. Our general would
not allow any thing to be taken out of them, because they belonged to
Java, except two of their men to pilot us to Pulo Timaon. The people of
Java are very resolute in a desperate case. Their principal weapons are
javelins, darts, daggers, and a kind of poisoned arrows which they blow
from trunks or tubes. They have likewise some arquebusses, but are by no
means expert in using these; they use also targets, and most of them are
Mahometans. They had been at _Palimbangan_, and were on their way back
to _Grist_, a port town on the north-east coast of Java, to which place
they belonged.

The 12th November we dismissed them, pursuing our course for Patane. The
26th we saw certain islands to the N.W. of us, which neither we nor our
pilots knew; but, having a contrary wind for Patane, we thought it
necessary to search these islands for wood and water, hoping to have a
better wind by the time we had watered. The 27th we came to anchor
within a mile of the shore, in sixteen fathoms, on good ground, on the
south side of these islands. Sending our boat on shore, we found some of
them sunken islands, having nothing above water but the trees or their
roots. All these islands were a mere wilderness of woods, but in one of
them we found a tolerably good watering place; otherwise it was a very

Facebook Google Reddit Twitter Pinterest